Gutter cleaning or gutter clearing is when I remove the build up of moss, dirt, grass, leaves, other plants and tennis balls etc. from your gutters. Not to be confused with cleaning the outside of gutters, fascia and soffit etc. This is another cleaning service I offer – fascia cleaning and is often requested at the same time as gutter clearing.
[I use both terms Gutter ‘Cleaning’ and Gutter ‘Clearing’ on this page. The term gutter cleaning appears to be a more popular description of this service, though in my opinion gutter ‘clearing’ is a more appropriate term. So, I use both to try to not confuse people.]
The gutter clearing service we offer is to safely clear away the debris out of the gutters at your property. We also check the downpipes and clear any blockages in them too.
The debris is removed by a couple of different methods depending on what is most appropriate. Though no matter the method we choose to use, a thorough job will be done. The methods we use should also be pretty clean. A ‘man with a trowel and a bucket’ will make a lot of mess as well and not doing a particularly thorough job. It can’t be helped – making a mess when cleaning gutters by that method. We go by the assumption that you contract us to do a ‘cleaning task’ not just move the mess from one place to another.
We primarily use a gutter vacuum to remove the debris. This is a very effective method of cleaning (in the right hands). Experience also tells me when you need to get up a ladder and get your hands in the gutters. This is normally when large clumps of plants are growing. The plants usually have a lot of roots, which can get entangled in the gutter joints, roof valley lead, under the roof slates etc. So, need to be carefully removed to avoid causing any damage. Plants are like an iceberg – you only see the small bits at the top not the mass below eye level.
At the end of the job, all the debris that has been removed will be taken away and disposed of.
There are extra services we can offer as well, such as drain clearing or fitting downspout guards.
Gutter cleaning, not a very ‘glamorous’ service, as you often don’t really notice when it’s done. Keeping your gutters cleared of blockages and running smoothly is very important. If your gutters get blocked, then the water that drains from your roof cannot drain through the gutters and must find an exit. This is normally done by overflowing and coming over the side of the gutter, then running down your wall.
Is it not a big problem you think? Well, yes it is – and can be a very expensive problem if your gutters are left overflowing.
Water running down the outside of your house like this causes damp inside. This is both unsightly and produces mould spores in the house which smell off and can cause breathing difficulties – especially in the very young, old and those with some breathing problems to start with. If the mould is near food storage such as the kitchen, it can spoil the food if the spores get into it. Mould spores can also get into house plants and cause them to mould as well.
The picture to the left is another house I was at. This is black mould growing on the outside of the house right at the point where an overflowing gutter is spilling the rainwater onto the side of the house. I didn’t see inside this house but am sure you would be able to find internal damage around this area.
Something as simple, and cheap to remedy as gutter cleaning or clearing is actually a very important factor in home maintenance.
I remember listening to a house surveyor one day (the people who check over a house and value it for a mortgage lender). He was talking about the serious devaluation that a house could have, just from an overflowing gutter that had been left untouched. He was describing how much money in damage is caused to houses that could have fixed the problem cheaply with gutter cleaning.
In a study by Churchill Insurance, they found that 98% of estate agents said that an unsightly or poorly maintained neighbouring property has a negative impact on the price potential buyers will pay for a home. One of the top five eyesores that have a negative impact on the price potential buyers will pay is “Overflowing Gutters”.
Here is another image from another house I was at (right). This is part of the wall in the master bedroom. Water had penetrated through the wall and caused a lot of black and yellow mould. The wallpaper on the other wall was also pealing off, even though it was only just papered one year before. This was also because of the water penetrating through the wall. The owners never noticed anything until the damage was done as this mouldy section of wall was hidden behind furniture.
More Details of The Gutter Cleaning / Gutter Clearing Service I offer Are further Down The Page
Below are all pictures of the guttering of houses I have worked on. Sometimes you wouldn’t even notice a problem from the ground, and you don’t always notice the overflow until the damage is done. In each of these instances from the images below, the gutters ‘needed’ to be cleared before an expensive problem started.
Gutter Cleaning / Gutter Clearing Service I Offer
I can clear gutters of 1, 2 and 3 storey houses and other buildings up to 40ft high. I clear gutters in residential houses, shops, restaurants and factories.
Insurance companies, will often not pay out for damage caused by water or damp if the root of the problem was a blocked gutter. So, get your gutters cleared regularly.
If you would like me to clear out your gutters, or even if you are thinking about it, but are not sure about how much the price would be for your house, you can contact me to ask for a free, no-obligation quote it’s no problem, and I just need to have a quick look at the outside of your house, which I can do at any point i.e. you don’t have to be there as long as I have access right around the outside i.e. no locked gates.
If the exterior of your guttering is dirty and need cleaning, I can do that too while I am there. You can get more information on my page about Cleaning Fascia, Soffit and guttering.
We will check all the downspouts and any that are blocked will be cleared, this is included in the standard gutter clearing service. Clearing blocked downspouts is a major task in itself as there can be so many difficulties and places for the blockage to occur. I read on one DIY website that you just need to put some drain rods down and force the blockage down the spout… yeah right! That person obviously hasn’t had much experience of different downspout blockages. We use different methods of removing the blockage in downspouts. Different types of downspout – the material they are made from, where the blockage is, where it is, how it became blocked, how many sharp angles are in the downspout.
If your gutters are blocked, then there is a really good chance that you have at least one blocked downspout too. This means that the water has no way to get away safely, so overflows over the gutter. Sometimes it overflows on the outside, and sometimes it overflows on the inside of the gutter where you don’t notice it as easily, but it does the most damage. When a gutter overflows on the inside, it can pour water in through your eaves causing a lot of internal damp problems. Blocked downspouts are seriously bad 🙁
Often, if the gutters and/or downspouts have become blocked, then the drain that the flow into can also get blocked up with debris. If you have any drains like this, then we can have a look at those too while we are there. This service is for downspout drains, not sewage drains. We are a lot cheaper than dyno rod etc and can do them while we are already there clearing your gutters.
When I am cleaning out the gutters, I can supply and fit downspout guards to your gutters if you wish as well. These guards fit to standard sized round (68mm) and square (65mm) household guttering. They help protect they downpipes getting blocked by protecting the top of the downspout from the larger debris, that can block the downspout, from entering it. These can only be fitted to household gutters in bungalows and 2 storey houses – not 3 storey houses, sorry.
If you are considering these, please let me check suitability first. Sometimes these can be useful, and sometimes they cause you more problems. I will have a look when clearing the gutters give you an honest appraisal, as I don’t want you telling me in 6 months time that I sold you something that wasn’t suitable for you.
Working at Height Safely
The law has become very careful about people working at height, there is all sorts of regulations governing it due to the number of serious accidents. In mainland Britain alone, an average of 50 people dies each year as a result of a fall from height and a further 8,702 are seriously injured. So, Legislation was brought in to make the job safer as the number of serious injuries and deaths became too big a number to ignore. Personally, I am aware of 2 of these incidents, both happening in the winter of 2015/2016. One person fell from his ladder and died, the other smashed both legs and was hospitalised, he probably won’t go up a ladder ever again.
We comply with the legislation – “The Work at Height Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005“, and prefer to remain safe and able to work another day. Our compliance means various things, such as we need equipment checks, safety devices fitted, personal protection equipment, any damaged equipment renewed etc. And in line with legislation, we must also choose the safest possible method available to get to the height required. All this will be a relief to conscientious householders and businesses alike. Who wants to contract someone for gutter cleaning / gutter clearing and find that they are unsafe. As a side thought, in my mind if your people take no interest in taking care of themselves or complying with the legislation for their trade, then how interested are they in doing a good job for their customers?
How Do Our Gutter Cleaning / Gutter Clearing Quotations Work
If you go through to our quote page, you will be asked some information about you and your property. Not a lot of information, just the basics we need to get your quote for you. That information is then sent to us by the computer. When we pick up your request for the gutter cleaning quote we will call out to your house sometime soon after that. We have a look around the outside of the property (please ensure that we can get all around i.e. no locked gates). We measure up the amount of guttering, how complex or difficult access is, how much work is involved in clearing your gutters etc and from those details, we can give you a price. Usually, it will be a written quote left in your letterbox. It will give you the price of course, as well as a bit more information on what exactly we would do. Once you review the quote, if you want to go ahead, then let us know and we can arrange it. If you don’t want to go ahead, then just ignore the quote. We do it this way so that you don’t feel under pressure by us, you have the information, and are welcome to call, text or email if you have any questions. We want you to make an informed decision who you should contract to do the work, and not feel in any way pressurised by any ‘hard selling salesman’. If you don’t want us to leave a written quote there, for instance, that property may be a rental house or a complex managed by a management agent etc Obviously if it’s a business, the quote will be either handed to or sent to the person who has requested it.
Yes, we have public liability insurance. Our insurance is quite comprehensive and covers homes and large complexes alike. Gutter Clearing is specifically named and we are happy to give you proof of our insurance cover upon request.
Regular Maintenance Gutter Clearing
Some people and companies benefit from regular gutter clearing. So, we also offer an annual clearing service. This stops the build up from getting too much and blocking your gutters and or downpipes causing damage to your property. And of course, some insurance companies specifically require regular external maintenance of your property. On their website, AXA insurance recommends annual gutter cleaning for every home. If you wish us to put you on or maintenance schedule, we are happy to do that. After the initial gutter cleaning, we normally schedule maintenance cleans between the end of autumn and the start of spring. We find that this gives period you the best value for money as all the autumn leaves and twigs have fallen, then we come and clear them all out. This clears the debris out before spring and the seeds that fell in autumn are also removed, preventing them from germinating and growing in the spring to block your gutters again.
Anyone who needs this for insurance purposes, we ar happy to provide a ‘works report’ to prove to your insurance company that this work has been carried out properly.
Gutter Cleaning for Businesses
I can clean gutters in business premises up to 40ft/12m in height. If you need the gutters cleared for your business I can do that, I can also give you a quotation for an annual clean, which you often need to fulfil your insurance company requirements. After cleaning, I can send you a written ‘Works Report’ for your file, so you have it if/when your insurance company requires proof that it has been done. I can also provide you with visual proof that the gutters are cleared.
Before commencing, I can give you copies of a risk assessment and method statement if you need them. All work will be carried out in compliance with the current health and safety legislation.
I am developing a new website specifically for the gutter cleaning service: Household & Business Gutter Cleaning in Northern Ireland. It’s still being developed, but your welcome to have a look and tell me what you as a prospective customer, would like to see on the new site. Thanks