Back to list

How To Start A Gutter Cleaning Business And Turn It Into A Full-Time Income

By Last update May 2, 2024
Man cleaning gutters on a roof

Starting a gutter cleaning business is a smart way to capitalize on a service that’s always in demand. Whether you’re looking to create a full-time enterprise or a lucrative side hustle, we’ll sketch out how to start a profitable gutter cleaning business that keeps your community’s homes safe from water damage.

If you aren’t afraid of heights, this is one of the best and most flexible side hustles you can start with very little money. Once you get a little experience under your belt it isn’t unusual to make $100+ per hour cleaning gutters.

What You Actually Do As A Gutter Cleaner

Man cleaning a gutter from a ladder

Gutter cleaners play a crucial role in home maintenance by ensuring that gutters are free of debris, such as leaves, twigs, and dirt. This task, though seemingly simple, is very important for homeowners. Clean gutters prevent water from overflowing and pooling around a home’s foundation, which can lead to expensive structural damage over time.

By enabling proper water flow away from the roof and walls, gutter cleaning helps prevent the deterioration of roofing materials and exterior surfaces which can result from water seepage.

Gutter cleaning also helps mitigate the risk of pest infestations by removing potential nesting sites for insects and rodents. This maintenance work also extends the lifespan of the gutters themselves, as the weight and corrosion from accumulated debris can cause gutters to sag and break prematurely.

Your primary tasks will be:

  • Scooping out leaves, twigs, and sediment from gutters and flushing them to clear any remaining debris
  • Checking for clogs in downspouts, using tools like snakes or hoses to remove blockages
  • Inspecting the gutter system for signs of damage, such as corrosion or sagging
  • Performing minor repairs or suggesting professional services if needed
  • Preventative measures like installing gutter guards to maintain the system’s efficiency

Here is a great video that shows what you will be doing

Earning Potential in Gutter Maintenance

Starting a gutter cleaning venture can be quite profitable and there are thousands of people out there that make a full-time income cleaning gutters or have very profitable side hustles. This is as tried and true as it gets.

. Many homeowners aren’t keen to climb ladders and prefer to pay for such services, creating a lucrative market. Gutter cleaning, or sometimes referred to as cleaning the eaves, is particularly profitable, even though demand may fluctuate with seasons.

You will typically be setting a fixed price for your services with the homeowner before you start. As you get more efficient you will make more money but you will typically be charging $100+ per home that you clean if not multiples of that. Every area will have different pricing.

What you need to start

Man crouching and cleaning a gutter

To start a gutter cleaning business, you can start on a very small budget and gradually buy more equipment as you scale up. At a minimum you will need:

  • Transport: A vehicle is crucial for transporting a ladder and other large tools.
  • Ladder: A versatile ladder that is tall enough to get you up to the roof of homes in your area along with a stabilizer for safety purposes
  • Debris Removal Tools: Equip yourself with buckets and tarps to manage the debris collected during the cleaning process.
  • Protective Gear: Durable rubber gloves are critical to protect your hands while working.

As you build up your business you can also invest into more expensive tools like a pressure washer for the swift cleansing of downspouts.

Gutter Cleaning Clients

Your customers are primarily going to meet the following criteria:

  • Homeowners
  • Middle to high incomes
  • Middle age or older

These are people who don’t want to hassle with cleaning their gutters and have the extra money to pay you to do it for them.

These individuals often seek out these services to maintain their property, especially during the fall period when leaves and debris commonly clog gutters.

Establishing Rates for Gutter Maintenance Services

When setting rates for gutter cleaning, several factors come into play including the height of the roof, the type of materials involved, and the roof’s total area.

For a standard single-story structure, gutter cleaning costs often start at $100 and go up from there. Call around to your competitors and find out what they are charging so you can be competitive.

On the other hand, multi-level buildings somewhat increase the price. They can see prices ranging from $150 to $300+ due to the additional labor and safety concerns involved with higher elevations.

You need to be sure that your pricing not only compensates you for your time but also covers transportation expenses, routine vehicle upkeep, and business insurance. After accounting for these, you should also include a profit margin to sustain and grow the business.

Remember, these rates serve as a guide, and one should always strive for fairness in pricing to maintain good customer relationships.

How To Find Your First Gutter Cleaning Clients

Man finishing his gutter cleaning job

Finding your first gutter cleaning clients is a lot easier than you think but that doesn’t mean it won’t be hard work. The simples way to find your first clients is to load up your vehicle with your equipment and drive over to one of the more affluent parts of your town that have big trees with a lot of leaves.

Target an area that tends to have people 40+ that live there and start going door to door offering your services. For many people, this won’t be a lot of fun but it is easily the most effective way to get your first customers.

Offer your services and mention that you are comfortable completing all the cleaning before you are paid. This means that there isn’t any risk to the homeowner that you will run off with their money!

Expanding beyond your first customer

After you complete you first job, make sure that you ask for referrals or suggestions for other people in the area that might want similar services. This is a proven way to find great leads for additional jobs.

If you start getting a reputation as someone who performs great work at a fair price people will start reaching out to you directly. That’s a lot easier than having to go door-to-door for every sale!

This will get you started as cheaply as possible and allow you to start generating money that you can start reinvesting into the business to grow.

Adam Sanders has worked as a reentry advisor, program leader, and teacher at San Quentin State prison in San Quentin California for several years. He co-founded San Quentin's financial literacy program and is passionate about helping former offenders successfully re-enter society and find personal and financial success. Adam also has nearly a decade of experience working in Marketing and Finance for large software companies and an MBA from Northwestern University.