Gutter Cleaning – DIY or Hire a Pro?

Gutter cleaning is a relatively simple home maintenance task. If you have the time and basic skills, cleaning your own rain gutters can save you money. However, before you DIY the gutter system, take into account the size of your home, the shape of its roof, and the time you will have to spend cleaning the gutters. While the task itself appears to be straightforward, a professional gutter cleaning service knows just how labour-intensive it can be. In certain circumstances, it might be worth it to have someone clean the gutters for you.

Your Home

You have to climb a ladder and you’re not too fond of heights. The gutters on the second storey of the northwest corner of the house are hard to reach. The last time you cleaned the gutters it took the whole weekend off-and-on in between carpooling and errands. Consider hiring a gutter cleaning company if you have a fear of heights or mobility issues; the house is large; or the house has a roof with multiple rooflines.

Gutters protect your home. But how efficiently they keep your home’s exterior safe from water damage depends on how well they are maintained. If it takes up a lot of your available home maintenance time and you keep putting it off until there are plants and small shrubs growing in the gutter troughs, hire someone. Gutter cleaning pros can clean the gutters of an average-to-large sized home in four to six hours.

Your DIY Skills

Something is dirty, so you remove the dirt – cleaning is cleaning isn’t it? To successfully clean the gutters, you have to have the knowledge to clean them with damaging them or other parts of your home’s exterior. Washing the vinyl siding is more straightforward than cleaning aluminum gutters. You know that a power washer will clean the outside of the gutters and rinse away suds and residual dirt from inside gutter troughs quickly. But using one on a higher pressure can dent metal gutters and loosen hardware.

In addition to specific DIY skills, you will also have to be comfortable standing on a ladder for long periods of time and have the stamina to climb up and down the ladder. Even though it’s not complicated or particularly difficult, a gutter cleaning service does this daily and uses the proper techniques to clean the gutters without harming the gutter system.

Your Safety

Clean the gutters can be hazardous. Falling off the ladder, overreaching, misstepping resulting in sprains, and cuts from sharp edges are some common injuries related to DIY gutter cleaning. When you experience vertigo, mobility issues, or asthma, don’t plan on “powering through.” If you are unable to feel 100% safe standing on a ladder and maintaining your balance while removing debris and using a garden hose, call a gutter cleaning service.

Your Budget

The assumption is that if you do-it-yourself you will save money, and generally that does hold true. But it doesn’t always. The larger the house, there is more linear feet of gutter that needs cleaning. If you live in a one-storey, four-bedroom home, you will most likely save money if you DIY. However, if you live in a three-bedroom Victorian, by the time your rent an extension ladder, boom lift, or scaffolding and purchase cleaning materials and safety equipment you require but don’t have on hand, the cost of DIY gutter cleaning might work out to be only marginally less expensive than hiring a gutter cleaning service.