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How to Start a Gutter Cleaning Business

June 27, 2018 668 views

Image of a Gutter full of leaves

Gutter Cleaning Business Overview:

For many homeowners, autumn means gutter cleaning time.

For people who live close to any tall trees, this is one critical maintenance task that must be undertaken before winter.

Cleaning the gutters in late fall is necessary to avoid damage, such as water seeping in behind the fascia board, as well as ice damage in the winter.

Rain gutters carry the rainwater from the roof to where water can be drained. The main reason for installing rain gutters is to protect the windows, walls, basement, and flooring from damage due to rainwater.

However, over time gutters get clogged by leaves, twigs, and other debris. This blocks the flow of water in the gutter and may cause it to overflow or flow back, defeating the purpose of rain gutters. It’s important that rain gutters be cleaned well before a heavy rain.

Providing a gutter cleaning service relieves the homeowner of taking on on the messy and somewhat dangerous task of keeping gutters and downspouts clear.

While some gutter cleaning services may charge a flat per-house fee (say, $35 per house), others charge by the cumulative length of the gutters and downspouts (50 cents per linear foot, for example). For a challenging job, the per-house fee may be as high as $150, according to Servicemagic.com

Gutter cleaning is a great way to bring in extra income during the fall and great way to supplement a lawn care business or similar business that slows down in the fall.

Skill Set:
  • Ability to lift at least 50 lbs
  • Comfort with heights
  • Detail-oriented
  • Handle power washers
  • Clean out gutters with hose or pressure washer
  • Debris disposal
  • Hose down any splatters on concrete or building
  • Common Business Skills
Approximate Daily Hours Needed:

Gutter cleaning season may be short-lived, depending on your location. In November, it’s not unusual for the sun to set at 4:30 p.m. in many areas of Canada and the northern US. For this reason, you need to make every hour count, even if that means operating seven days a week.

Equipment, Supplies, & Services During Start-up OR In The Future:
  • Ladders
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Trash bags
  • Protective eyewear
  • Reliable transportation
  • A pressure washer with a telescopic wand and gutter cleaner attachment
  • Hoses
  • Leaf blower
  • A 2-liter soda bottle (cut down) works well for cleaning the gutters. It’s pliable enough to get down into the gutter
  • Composting containers
  • Essential Office Equipment
Monthly Expenses and Operating Costs To Consider:
Licenses:

See Our Page on Licenses and Permits

Potential Add-Ons for This Business:
  • Offer to install downspout filters. If you buy the mesh needed in bulk, it will cost you about 10 cents per filter. The going rate is $3 to $5 per filter, which will usually total between $30 and $60 per house.
  • Add tree trimming service. Cut back limbs that hang over the roof. This will make your job easier in the future and can potentially save the customer costly roof repairs in the future.
  • Offer a repair service. For an additional cost, you can repair and replace worn out gutters, which will help maintain the roof.
  • Install gutter guards and gutter helmets. These protect gutters from large debris and can add between $300 and $500 per job.
  • Add a window and skylight cleaning service. Skylight cleaning generally runs about $20 per skylight and window cleaning adds an additional $80 to $120.
  • Offer roof cleaning services. You can easily clean roofs with a pressure washer and a leaf blower. You can also offer to apply a preventative moss treatment once you have cleaned the roof
Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:

The average startup cost may vary from a couple of hundred dollars if you already have a lot of the equipment, to thousands of dollars if you want top-of-the-line equipment. You can start off small and expand your crew and equipment as you grow.

Considerations For A Gutter Cleaning Business:
  • Whenever you are working at heights, always make sure that you use fall arrest gear.
  • Estimates will widely vary depending on the amount of debris in the gutter, the size of the home, and any unforeseen challenges.
  • Remember that gutters and supports are a relatively weak material and will not stand any direct weight, so be sure to use secure ladders that will support your weight well.
  • You need to take care of pressure washers. High water pressure will very easily damage relatively fragile surfaces.
  • Offer a guarantee. You can decide how long you want to guarantee your work, but a good starting place is three months. This is especially important when you are first starting out, and any time you have a new client.
  • Offering a guarantee will help build trust in your work and will likely leave a positive impression, leading at least to a repeat customer, and possibly to recommendations to other new clients.
  • Put the ladder on a firm and even ground base and at an appropriate height from the rain gutter.
  • Beware of the metal parts and screws that are fitted inside the gutter.

The Pros

  • Low startup cost
  • You can be your own boss
  • Jobs are usually completed in less than an hour
  • You can offer additional related services such as snow removal, gardening or window washing to earn more money.

The Cons

  • Work is performed up high on rooftops or ladders.
  • Physically demanding labor.
  • Seasonal ups and downs depending on location.
Gutter Cleaning Business Statistics:

Rain gutter cleaning costs around $75 to $200 on average, according to national figures, though the price has been shown to soar to about $900 in some metropolitan areas.

Most companies list gutter cleaning prices for far less than $200; they can make a profit from volume.

Revenue:

Even though a gutter cleaning service requires little startup capital, you can earn a significant amount of money in a matter of a few months. In terms of profit, it’s very common for two people to earn $500-$1000 per day.

If you choose to use a gas-powered leaf blower to clean gutters, you can make at least $100 per hour while on the job

You should be able to generate a few thousand dollars a week in prime season. The problem is that the gutter cleaning season is very short.

Due to the seasonal nature of gutter cleaning, many companies offering this unique service can’t do the business on a full-time basis unless they are based in a warmer climate.

On the other hand, it’s not out of the question to have an influx of phone calls from homeowners in early spring with overflowing gutter troubles.

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