How much is it to clear out my gutters? Gutter cleaning/clearance can be an afterthought in the regime of property maintenance. And it is, usually, when the homeowner looks up to see an overflowing gutter where debris has blocked up a downpipe and water is now cascading down an external wall that the homeowner tends to take action. Rightly so, as the weight of water/debris can cause the guttering to fail and if water has n cascading down an external wall that could lead to damp problems with the home
Nowadays, your gutters can be cleaned out in one of two ways 1. The old-fashioned way, by getting a set of ladders (not a cherry picker type machine (expensive) and a few hand tools. 2. by the use of a specialist ‘wet and dry vac’ with long reach poles to suck out the debris from ground level.
The Ladder Method
If you, the homeowner, have access to a set of extendable ladders, capable of reaching all of your gutters then this is by far the cheapest method. The ladders and a few hand tools, (a small trowel and a bucket) will save you a few pounds. The downside to this method is the Health and Safety (H&S) aspect! All modern-day ladders have a support bar that fits onto the bottom in order to provide stability. In addition, you and the homeowner may need the support of a second person to ‘hold’ the ladder at its base whilst climbing.
Notwithstanding, the cost of diying against the cost of employing a tradesperson/handyman should be weighed against the H&S aspect. If you choose the latter route of employing a tradesperson there are several tradespeople who could clean gutters – guttering specialists, who install, repair, and maintain fascias, soffits, and roofers who do similar guttering work and would be able to carry out the work, especially if there are sections that need replacing or upgrading. Some handymen and window cleaners will also be likely to do it also
A good price for gutter cleaning is around £4-5 per meter of gutter. Others may provide a set price for the property, and most would have a set minimum price. Therefore you could expect to pay for a small terraced house, with only around 5m of gutter, about £20, but as stated some tradespeople may charge a minimum fee or more than this to make the job worthwhile. As of 2021, a minimum cost of £50 would be typical. On larger detached properties, the cost can easily reach £120 or more.
If there are accessibility issues with some gutters, e,g. Over the top of a conservatory then there may be additional costs. In this case, an extendable ladder would not allow you to reach over the top of the conservatory. This may mean that the tradesperson (or you the homeowner) would have to ‘come at it’ from over the roof- with the possibility of damaged tiles, etc.
The Vacuum Method
If you want a job done correctly and safely the best method is to use a professional tradesperson ‘geared-up’ to undertake the job with the proper equipment. The equipment used is not with ladder and bucket, scraping the debris out of the gutters as they go but with a modern-day powerful (3-motor) commercial-grade gutter vacuum system that is operated from the ground with extendable carbon-fiber poles and appropriate attachment to access your gutters, and which do not leave any mess behind.
In addition, as these are high-powered vacuums and powered by electricity the tradesperson will carry their own power supply in the form of a petrol operated generator. This allows the tradesperson to operate without requiring access to your home and its power supply. The cost for this type of gutter cleaning can be slightly higher, between £5-6 per meter of gutter.
However, the cost to the tradesperson is also higher due to higher spec equipment and speed of operation, insurance, etc. A small terraced house, with only around 5m of gutter, about £ £25-30 and a larger detached property somewhere in the region of between £125-200. It is generally assessed that the more the gutters are to access and the more soil they contain would attract additional costs.
One of the features that a tradesperson with this type of equipment brings is (possibly) the ability to film/photograph the work carried out in order that they can authenticate their work – you should ask your gutter cleaning provider about this!
Additional Considerations About Costs
The more meterage of guttering needed to be cleaned the more it will cost. This is an obvious fact when putting together a quote. If the length of the gutters is not so long, their cleaning out will be easier and therefore the gutter cleaning cost per meter will be much less. Notwithstanding, most specialist gutter cleaning companies and tradespeople usually have a minimum charge for this type of work.
If your building is that of a tall townhouse property or a multi-story building, this will change the scale of the job due to its height and possibly different levels of guttering. Some of these properties’ gutters, e.g. over 2 stories high or commercial buildings, e.g. high-rise apartments can be reached by the vacuum method, but some will require a scissor lift/cherry picker and extra safety equipment due to H&S requirements. This, needless to say, would substantially increase the cost to the property owner!
The total cost will also depend on how cluttered/full the gutters are. If they have not been cleared out for a long period, whereby they accumulate an excessive amount of moss, leaves, and decomposed debris, it will take longer than usual to get the gutter cleared.
It is recommended that your gutters be cleaned at least once to twice a year (others may advocate twice to four times a year), but it depends on the local environmental location of your property. If you live near a wooded area, the latter advice would be recommended. This is to facilitate keeping your gutters from getting clogged and ensure proper water drainage.
Tips For A Clear Gutter
Gutter Guards- Good or Bad?
If your property has gutter guards installed they usually need to be removed so that the gutters can be cleaned properly. Yes, they are designed to keep out debris out of the gutters, but they themselves accumulate debris and dirt- they are a bit like elongated hair (hedgehog type) brushes or the grating type, that come in, up to, 4m lengths. They are usually fastened to the internal guttering with fastenings or ties, so removing them can add significant time and effort to the cleaning process.
In other ways, gutter guards are designed to stop the leaves and debris from clogging up your guttering. But, unfortunately, they still require to be removed for a thorough clean. While they may stop leaves from clogging up your gutters and down-pipes, the leaves/moss end up sitting on top of the grating and decomposing, eventually dropping through to fill your gutters with compost! So, in essence, gutter guards do assist in keeping your gutters clear, for a bit longer so may save you some costs in less visits from the gutter cleaning tradesperson. They are of medium expense and will also require the climbing of a ladder to put them in place.
Downpipe guards have been around for many a year and can be viewed as little dome-shaped guards that are fastened/fixed where the downpipe is attached to the guttering. They are good, in as much they will stop all leaves/moss/debris falling down the downpipe and possibly causing a blockage. they, however, do not stop the remainder of the gutter from filling with debris, etc. They are easy and cheap to install- though it requires the use of climbing a ladder to put them in place.
In other ways, gutter guards are designed to stop the leaves and debris from clogging up your guttering. But, unfortunately, they still require to be removed for a thorough clean. While they may stop leaves from clogging up your gutters and down-pipes, the leaves/moss end up sitting on top of the grating and decomposing, eventually dropping through to fill your gutters with compost! So, in essence, gutter guards do assist in keeping your gutters clear, for a bit longer so may save you some costs in fewer visits from the gutter cleaning tradesperson. They are of medium expense and will also require the climbing of a ladder to put them in place.
At Acleanerplace Cleaning Services (ACS) we offer a wide range of set prices for gutter clearing and many other exterior cleaning services. based in Stirling we cover all areas of Scotland’s central belt and will be happy to discuss your needs and provide a competitive quote. Call us today on 01786 817401.