How I started my gutter cleaning business while avoiding the safety risks
One man’s experience of the Gutter Pro Vac Gutter Cleaning Vacuum System
We recently took a trip to meet one of our new customers, David Hargrave, from Napa and Lake counties in Northern California.
David has been operating a service business providing handyman services and cleaning services to local businesses and residents for many years and had bought one of our 20 gallon gutter cleaning vacuums with the 40-foot poles package.
The real goal of this trip was to see how satisfied David was with the Gutter Pro Vac gutter vacuum cleaning system after he had been using it for almost 6 months and get an unbiased and honest account of his experience of the equipment.
How I clean gutters from the safety of the ground and make $285 in 2 hours
This also gave us the opportunity to video and document David’s work and record what a typical gutter cleaning job looks like. The house that David was cleaning he had originally cleaned by ladder and he had bought the Gutter Pro Vac and was on a seasonal cleaning plan with the homeowner.
The house in question was a 2 story house with a basement – the total square footage of the house was 2800 square feet with gutters on all sides, the house also has a basement and is situated on a hill and therefore the house, in reality, has 3 story elevation in parts.
Amazing to us, and as you will see from the video David does not use a camera when using the Gutter Pro Vac, he has developed the technique to a point that he mostly by hand and field and we were amazed to witness how clean he was able to get the gutters, but there you have it everybody is different.
We also wanted to try as best as we could to have David answer all of the more common questions we get from prospective customers about how to use the equipment, how effective it is, how does it compare, does it get blocked and if so how often, and as you can see for yourselves the video speaks volumes.
We were able to capture David’s thoughts on camera and then we sent a series of questions that he answered off camera. The following is a transcription of those Questions & David’s Answers.
Questions & Answers
Q: What attracted you to this new way of cleaning gutters?
A: I injured my shoulder while moving a ladder from my truck and was looking for something that would work from the ground and went online to research and found Gutter Pro Vac and started to really understand what problem I wanted to solve.
Q: What date did you buy the Gutter Pro Vac system?
A: I ordered it early September 2019 it arrived 3 days later and I have been using it since.
Q: Why did you choose the Gutter Pro Vac system over the competition?
A: There are a couple of companies who are in this equipment space…. And I looked a both very closely and spoke with the owners of both at length.
Clearly, they had both been in business for some time, but it soon became clear that they service two different segments of the market. Once I looked at the equipment side by side sure there was a weight issue but the power of the gutter pro vac system seemed to have just as much suction if not more than the competition and yes, the competition uses lighter-weight materials, but I beat my equipment up and I was aware that carbon can break and splinter.
I think first and foremost the price, I struggled with paying nearly 4 times the competitor’s price knowing how long the “Return on that Investment” would take…gutter cleaning is not the only service I provide. The competitor seemed to be serving a larger wealthier more institutional organization. I have paid for the Gutter Pro Vac outright after 8 houses.
Q: How do you charge your customers
A: I typically charge based on $1 per linear foot for the first story and $2 per linear foot for the second story and $3 per linear foot for the third.
Q: What generator do you use and why did you choose it?
A: I could have bought a smaller one that has 5500 running watts I bought something that would allow me to use it for different jobs and I live in Northern California and occasionally I’ll power my house with it…. But it purrs along. This is a Predator 8750 from Harbor Freight.
Q: How big is the house in the video and how long did it take you to do the house gutters in the video.
A: This particular house was typical for my area at about 2800 square feet with guttering on all 4 sides with one side that has 3 stories. The house is nestled amongst a number of oak trees and has different levels of room making it potentially problematic.
The great thing I have learned from using this gutter pro vac is that it allows me to speed up the gutter cleaning process cutting down my time at the job. At this house, I was packed up and ready to leave after 2 hrs and 15 mins, normally this job would take me 3-4 hours up a ladder. And the homeowner paid me $285…
Q: Why do you think people use your gutter cleaning service?
- Gutters are cleaned from the safety of the ground.
- We clean up to 3 stories high
- No mess / debris haulage included
- We minimize liability risks / No Ladders involved
- Annual Service Plan Offered
- Completely portable no power source required
Q: Do you use the vacuum as a promotional tool?
A: Yes when I am doing a house in a street and the neighbors see how I am doing it…. I end up getting more jobs as a result. I am now going to use it in my advertising as a tool.
Q: Does the machine ever get blocked or clogged?
A: if it is stuck in the hose I will disconnect the poles from the hose and then put my hand over the end of the hose to create more suction…
If it is in the poles, I do the same thing, as well as tap them on the gutter or a harder surface, then I will disconnect the hose and then reconnect to kind of shock the debris…. But this doesn’t happen too often and is pretty easy to work through.
Q: Can you use this Gutter Pro Vac on every house you clean?
A: No, it really depends on the house, but frankly I take on jobs that I know I can use the equipment ond because I don’t want to get up on a ladder.
Q: Do you use an extension cord and if so how long?
A: Yes I bought this 100 foot generator extension from Amazon