For those that think that when the leaves start to fall it’s time to call your local gutter cleaning company, think again.
First of all, while that gutter cleaning company may advertise cleaning your gutters for a great $79 price tag, it’s likely your home won’t fit the criteria to get that offer. Suddenly, the price can be several hundreds of dollars. Quickly, they’ll try to suggest you’d be better off with their yearly plan to save perhaps ten percent off of the one time fee. Many a homeowner gets roped in thinking they’re getting a deal.
You typically won’t find a gutter cleaning companies selling a gutter guard. Their business is all about repeat customers. Nothing is better than a list of clients that year in and year out write you several checks a year.
Hidden Costs Your Gutter Cleaning Company Won’t Share
Outside of just the costs of getting your gutter cleaned, you might be surprised to learn that you’ll likely do some harm to your roof. Once a roof is installed, you don’t want people up walking on it, certainly not several times a year. But that’s how most gutter cleaning companies will clean your gutters. Typically, they’ll have teams of two people, one with a leaf blower, the other holding a safety harness. With the blower on full blast, they’ll position themselves where they can get the blower’s arm into the gutter. Leaves, mulch and other wet muck will spray everywhere. Hopefully most of the leaves and gunk will make it to the ground and not wind up splattered on your siding.
That blower is going to do more than blow gunk from your gutters. The blower is strong enough to lift shingles, something they weren’t designed to do. Tar seals can be broken when this happens. It’s also not uncommon for the rope harness to get caught under your shingles, which can cause them to tear as well.
If the gutter cleaning company sends a cleaner on his own, he’ll have to drill into your roof to attach his safety harness. He won’t have the benefit of an extra pair of eyes monitoring the rope.
Your roof shingles can take a heavy toll from gutter cleaning several times a year. Your gutters may take the brunt of their ladder leaning as well. Even with hidden hangers, gutters aren’t designed to take the weight of a person climbing against them, particularly if you have thinner gauge gutters, not a level of detail most homeowners would know. If you do use a cleaning company, be sure to ask if they use ladder stand offs, which allow the ladder to rest on the roof, rather than on your gutters. It’s a great safety precaution as well.
In fact, you really have to hope your gutter cleaning company takes the correct safety precautions. Imagine the risks and shortcuts that are taken with all the companies that don’t.
If you do chose to use a service, be sure to check that they have liability insurance as well as worker’s comprehension insurance. You don’t want their employees getting hurt on the job and asserting you should have to pay.
Consider a Gutter Guard
There is nothing to say a gutter cleaning company won’t offer you great service, but after a few years of paying those frequent bills, you might consider gutter guards. A gutter guard that’s guaranteed not to clog (not if it clogs the local installer will clean it for free) like the patented microfiltration technology found in MasterShield will likely pay for itself quickly.
Best of all, it will permanently save you from ongoing, unnecessary roof wear.