1. Gutter cleaning costs tend to be advertised as cheap, but they’re not.
Who hasn’t seen billboards or small signs on the side of the road offering a flat rate for cheap gutter cleaning? Companies that sell this way entice you on price, lulling you into thinking that gutter cleaning is cheap, quick and easy. In actuality, it’s not. Properly done, gutter cleaning involves a two-person crew with trucks, ladders, safety gear, hoses, and blowers.
When the salesperson comes out to your house, you’ll find that the price varies based on the length of your gutters, length of your downspouts (to do the job properly, downspouts have to be cleaned, too) number of stories in your home, angle of your roof and whether you have underground drains. Everything impacts the price you’ll pay. More often than not, an “average” gutter cleaning costs more than $200 per cleaning.
2. Does your gutter cleaning cost include proper insurance coverage?.
You should ask to see the insurance coverage for any job that involves ladder climbing or being up on your roof. The company you work with must have general liability insurance and workers’ compensation for their employees. If you have a walkable roof, ask if it is covered by their workers’ compensation insurance; they might not be paying for this often more expensive coverage.
After watching a neighbor’s gutter cleaner walk from four-inch snow guard to four-inch snow guard on a steep roof (with a blower on his back) two stories in the air over the homeowner’s driveway with no safety equipment (wish we got a picture of this because it’s a true story), you would want anyone working on your home to take the proper safety precautions. What you don’t know can hurt you: you can be liable for accidents that happen on your property.
3. How are they cleaning your gutters?
Going back to the guy walking on the flimsy snow guards, how well do you think he cleaned the gutters? If fact, what are you paying gutter cleaners to actually do? Your expectations and their services might not be the same.
Does your gutter cleaning cost involve just using a blower? Will their cleaning blow black crud all over the exterior of your home? How do they plan to clean up everything that lands on the ground? Is anyone actually sticking their hands into your gutter to get out all the wet muck at the bottom? Are they using a hose to wash your gutters clean? More often than not, cleaners get called back out because they never cleaned the downspout and debris has lodged there. Gutter cleaning is only as effective as the people performing the service.
4. Will you get roped into yearly cleaning?
While you may be surprised to hear us say this, yearly services are not necessarily bad. Gutters on most homes need to be cleaned a minimum of three times a year with modest tree coverage, heavy tree coverage may require more frequent cleanings. And if you have a pine, hemlock, maple, oak or elm tree on your property or your neighbor’s, you might be a prime candidate for gutter guards because these are messy, dirty trees that don’t pick a particular season to cause havoc in your gutters
1. Don’t compare the cost of a gutter guard to your gutter cleaning cost, it’s like comparing apples to oranges.
It’s quick math: gutter guards take several years to pay for compared to your gutter cleaning cost, so why would you do it? First, gutter guards aren’t a service, they are a product that becomes part of your home, no different from your roof. Once you’ve paid your gutter cleaning cost, you’re likely (1) not to know how clean your gutters actually are and (2) you’re likely to start getting debris back into your gutters virtually immediately. Your gutters can clog and overflow again within weeks after you’ve paid for the service. They can become a breeding ground for thousands of mosquitoes in the summer and quickly overflow with nothing more than a few bits of debris over a downspout.
2. The right gutter guard is affordable
Gutter guards are less costly than a lot of other home maintenance projects like painting, roofing or landscaping. In fact, the cost of a gutter guard is one of the lowest-cost projects in the home improvement industry. Buyer beware, however, because you do get what you pay for. Most systems sold today are no different from gutter guards sold over 100 years ago, and they still let debris in. You already own a gutter that lets in debris, so insist on the micro mesh gutter guard technology of Alex Higginbotham, the inventor of the modern gutter guard.
3. It’s a long-term insurance policy against expensive water damage
What’s the cost of all your landscaping washing away? Or water getting into your basement? Or a home full of termites or carpenter ants? The side effects of water damage from clogged gutters cause homeowners to spend tens of thousands of dollars fixing water damage problems that, more often than not, started out from clogged gutters. Consider a state-of-the-art gutter guard system worth the cost of a gutter guard because those $24,000-plus projects are not worth spending money on.
4. The right system is key
With literally hundreds of options to choose from, how do you whittle down the field of choices? First, limit your choices to systems that keep out all debris. No one wants to clean out a gutter protected by a gutter guard. You’ll find this limits any systems with openings you can see: slots, slits, louvers, and holes will all let in debris.
So before you hand a check over to just anyone to clean your gutters, consider the facts presented here. The cost of a gutter guard can quickly pay for itself when compared to your gutter cleaning cost. When you consider you’re protecting your largest investment, your home, and the fact that few people like climbing wobbly ladders to deal with clogged gutters, a system like MasterShield Gutter Protection can offer you long-term piece of mind and keep expensive water damage problems from ever occurring.