Cleaning gutters is not a difficult business to start, and it is a great way to earn a living – whether part-time or full-time.
Cleaning gutters is part of the $9 billion “building exterior cleaning market,” which has grown at a rate of 5 percent annually over the past five years. In general, the gutter cleaning industry presents numerous business opportunities for prospective owners.
Check out this guide if starting a Gutter Cleaning Business is the right move for you.
Towards the end of this article I will answer some of the most frequently asked questions on how to start a gutter cleaning business…
Ladders are likely to be your largest expense. At the very least, you will need one long extension (at least 32 feet) and one medium extension (20-24 feet), along with a step ladder or multi-position ladder. As a minimum, they should be contractor-grade. This is required by law.
Purchase a good safety rope and adequate hardware, including harness, carabineers, and lanyards. Taking a fall arrest course in rope techniques, safety methods, and equipment is highly recommended.
Besides that, other equipment would be relatively inexpensive. They are: 5 gallon bucket, gutter spoon/ scoop, heavy rubber gloves, 16 ft extension pole, paper yard waste bags, and heavy plastic bags.
Fall will be your busiest time. While some people wait until heavy rains overflow their gutters to fix them (in the spring/ summer, for instance), there may be other times of the year when you need to do them.
Depending on your location, gutter cleaning may last for a month or longer. In warmer climates, some companies do this full-time. You should be okay as long as there is no frozen debris.
However, gutter cleaning season often begins as the last leaves fall and continues until snow is on the ground and the temperatures are significantly below freezing for a sustained period of time.
It is vital that you work every day between sunrise and sunset when you have a short season. You should start your first call early and continue working until dusk.
Working 30 days is expected, however, you will always be dependent on the weather. It can be difficult to keep a schedule when it’s snowing, freezing, or raining. It would be a good idea to keep one or two days open in case certain tasks need to be rescheduled.
Some jobs, unfortunately will be impossible to complete before winter begins. You should communicate that to your customers who book late in the season because that is the nature of the business.
A simple business card or flyer will suffice to get you started. Include in your flyer an introductory offer for your gutter cleaning business.
Put up the flyers in an area where you are confident you will be able to clean all the houses for the rate you listed on the flyer.
Building a website for your Gutter Cleaning business would be a great idea too. Just do a Google search on gutter cleaning in your area and see how many websites offer this service. If you don’t have a site, you could be losing a lot of money to your competition.
Using yard signs to advertise is also a good idea. Developing a low-cost website and the use of social media will definitely help you generate more leads. Include a list of your services together with your contact information.
Make sure you carefully word your pricing if you decide to include it. Customers shouldn’t expect to pay one low price then discover that the real price is much higher.
Gutter cleaning prices vary widely by location. Prices are usually based on the number of linear feet of gutter. A single story gutter can cost from 75 cents to $1.50. The 2nd story can range between $1.00 and $2.00 per linear foot.
Gutter cleaning jobs aren’t rocket science, but there are many ways one can go about doing it. Based on what you agreed to with the client, do what you are most comfortable with.
I’m a roofer-person so walking on the roof is quite comfortable for me. Whenever possible, I attempt to clean gutters from the roof, reaching down into them from the top. The main goal is to speed up the process.
I make sure the ladder goes up every six feet or so when the roof is steep, extending 3-4 feet to my right and left sides. Ultimately, the best thing to do is what is safe and comfortable for you.
Heavy-duty rubber gloves will be useful for handling gutter debris that is wet.
Gutter cleaning doesn’t only involve cleaning leaves, but it may also include removing dead animals such as birds, bats, mice, rodents, ants, mosquito larvae, worms, not to mention various kinds of disgusting animal excrement.
You should scoop up nails, shingle granules, or any other type of debris in a bucket or on a tarp. If you dump debris into the grass, make sure you clean it out afterwards. In some cases, gutter cleaners will flush out the gutters with a hose.
Remember to clean the gutter elbows and outlets. Sometimes gutters may be clean, but downspouts and elbows may be clogged. I have been forced to detach downspouts to clear 5 feet or more of debris and leaves that blocked part of the drainage system.
You may decide to charge more for this service. If you are up on a ladder and notice any potential problems with the roof or gutters, it is courteous to let the homeowner know – regardless if you have experience or not.
If you are considering opening a gutter cleaning business, gutter repairs are a great addition. You do not have to be a gutter expert in order to fix simple issues. You can fix leaky seams, detached elbows and downspouts, and sagging gutters.
You can offer a price for the additional work, or you can complete it for free. Either way, you should be upfront with the homeowner about the additional work you’ll be doing.
Sealants based on silicone or polymeric materials can be used to re-seal a leaking seam.
I wouldn’t advise using the spray stuff from the “As Seen On TV” commercials. Make sure the area is completely dry before you begin to seal.
Provide a seal on the inside rather than the outside of the gutter, if possible. If you need to seal on the exterior, choose a transparent sealer or one that matches the color of the gutter.
Fixing loose elbows and downspouts may be as easy as re-securing the loose components using self-tapping screws. The majority of hardware or roofing shops will supply gutter screws.
Copper screws should be available at a roofing supply business if the gutters are copper. Depending on the conditions, you may not want to undertake rehanging a collapsing gutter.
I would not try rehanging a gutter unless you are confident in your ability to accomplish it. A “K” shape gutter set against a flat fascia is the simplest type of gutter to rehang.
Hidden hangers can be utilized to refasten a sagging gutter in this situation.
Orderliness and common courtesy can help you sign up a client, be called back the next year, and earn referrals.
While I usually offer verbal estimates for gutter cleaning tasks, I usually provide the customer with a written bill/receipt. This not only keeps a record of the job completed for the customer, but also for you.
Some clients may want you to clean their gutters on a regular schedule. If you like, you may set up a yearly or bi-annual timetable.
The bulk of gutter cleanings in my area, for example, are arranged in the autumn when all the leaves have fallen, and also in the spring.
As you strengthen your client base, more referrals will come your way, and your gutter cleaning business venture will flourish.
Next, let’s look at a few Pros and Cons of owning a gutter cleaning business:
While gutter cleaning is not the most difficult task, it’s more engaging than most people would expect. There are numerous methods for cleaning gutters. The optimum approach is determined on the type of material to be removed and the slope of the roof:
Obviously, company owners must be able to go on rooftops and utilize ladders safely. The Roofer’s Helper also mentions a few additional things to think about, including where debris should be dumped and how outlets should be cleaned.
Many people pay anywhere between $230 and $270 for a single-story building, whereas a typical two-story structure will cost approximately between $270 and $320.
A ladder, ladder stabilizer, garden hose, bucket, gutter scoop (or garden trowel), and heavy-duty work gloves are the things you need to clean up rain gutters by hand.
Remove the leaves and debris one by one, putting what you’ve collect in a bucket. Then, wash the gutters and downspouts with water to ensure they are properly working.
A business owner could make between $200 and $300 per day, but this does not always equate to a $75,000 yearly income. The majority of clients want their gutters cleaned in the fall, so it’s a seasonal work for the most part.
Generally, you should aim to have your gutter system cleaned at least twice a year. Depending on the type of vegetation around your house (for example, pine trees), you might like to do it once in every three months.
In the United Kingdom, the average hourly fee for gutter cleaning ranges between £18 and £25 per hour. You might also be offered a day rate, which would be in the range of £150 to £200 each day.
Aside from the risk of this business, the most difficult aspect will be arranging all of those jobs in such a short period of time. You will be nearly swamped for a month or more, but you will also be making a lot of money.
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Although it’s not real estate in the traditional sense, it’s all digital.
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Sound too good to be true?
Of course it does!
But it isn’t…in fact, business owners wish they had this skill!
All you have to do is build and rank a website and forward the jobs off to a business owner in town, you could even email it to them!
This works for literally any service based business:
How do you get paid and how much?
Simple, after you forward the jobs off to a business owner and he makes some money off of them, you simply ask to make the deal beneficial for each other.
A fair price to charge per lead, depending on the industry is 10-20%…let’s just use the tree service industry for example and go by worst case scenario.
Let’s say you build and rank the site and only 20 jobs a month come in. The average tree service job is anywhere from $500-$2000!
That means at bare minimum you have an asset worth $1000 a month!
See why they call it digital real estate now?
That’s a rent payment.
The great thing is how easy it is to scale. You don’t have to answer the phone…all you have to do is get the phone to ring.
Unlike the passive income ideas I mentioned earlier…
This one actually allows you to collect that without working in a brick and mortar business all day.
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The training program takes making money online to a whole other level. The owner of the program walks you through how to build and rank a site hand in hand, with the occasional voice over when he is sharing his screen.
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Digital real estate allows you to have passive income with most of your day being spent OUT of the brick and mortar landscape.
Now, I know you probably have tons of questions… So, check this out to learn more.