Got questions about gutter cleaning costs? We have the answers, whether you decide to call in the professionals or tackle the task yourself.
Your gutters are designed to ensure your exterior drainage system works as it should — if your gutters become blocked, the rainwater that runs off your roof will not be able to flow freely down to your drains. With nowhere to go, water can eventually permeate gaps in your brickwork or render, leading to problems with damp and mould internally.
Good house maintenance is essential if you want to keep your home in tip top condition and avoid costly repairs later down the line – and keeping your gutters clean and free of dirt and debris is one of the most important jobs when it comes to caring for your property.
Thankfully, gutter cleaning, if carried out on a regular basis, need not be too labour-intensive or time consuming — plus it is one of the more affordable home maintenance jobs too.
How often should gutters be cleaned?
This really depends on several factors. Although the general advice is to ensure gutters are checked and cleaned twice a year, there are instances where it might be necessary to get the job done more frequently.
If, for example, you have lots of trees near your home, gutters are likely to quickly get blocked up with leaves if left unchecked. If it has been raining more than usual or the weather has been particularly stormy it is also worth checking them over.
Late autumn and early spring are great times to inspect your gutters and have them cleaned out.
If you have noticed wet patches on walls and are wondering what causes damp, then your gutters could be the culprit.
What are the signs of blocked gutters?
Even with regular checking, gutters can become blocked, so just what are the warning signs that this may have happened?
- Sagging gutters: Take a look at the outside of your house — if gutters look wonky or as though they are sagging this could indicate extra weight from a blockage.
- Water running down walls: If you notice water streaming down your exterior walls when it rains it means your gutters are not doing their job or are overflowing.
- Dripping gutter joints: If you see water leaking from any joins where the sections of guttering meet it could be a sign they are blocked — or need repairing.
- Damp walls: Damp patches or mould on walls could be a sign water is getting into your house due to blocked or faulty rainwater goods.
How to clean gutters: Can I do it myself?
Many people choose to take on the job of cleaning their own gutters and there is no reason why you shouldn't give it a go — providing you are physically able and have the right gutter cleaning products.
To clean gutters you will need:
- A sturdy ladder
- A bucket
- Thick garden gloves
- A hose that reaches the gutters or a power washer
- Garden trowel
- Stiff-bristled brush
Take the empty bucket up the ladder with you and begin by clearing as much of the debris out of the gutters by hand and with your garden trowel.
Once they are clear of loose material, use your hose to wash the gutters out, working from one end of the gutter and directing the water towards the outlet leading to your downpipe. Use your brush to scrub away any stuck-on dirt or moss patches.
Should you notice that water is not reaching the drains below, it could be a sign that there is a blockage within the downpipe. You can use a flexible drainpipe cleaner to try to dislodge this.
If you don't fancy scaling a ladder to get the job done, you could consider using a pressure washer attached to an extension pole. Direct the pressure washer into the gutter, towards the outlet. You can then use a broom to sweep out dirt. Alternatively, a telescopic gutter cleaner is a good investment. The Green Blade BB-GC150 Telescopic Gutter Cleaner from Amazon costs £21.70.
Finally, if any damage has occurred from blockages, you might find screws need retightening.
When should I call in a professional gutter cleaning company?
Of course there are occasions when it is a better or a more practical idea to call in a professional gutter cleaning company. Perhaps you are physically not able to carry out the job, hate heights, don't have the best pressure washer or the right equipment, are short on time or find that your gutters are just too blocked or damaged to feel confident in getting the job done well. It can also be necessary to call in the pros if you live in a house that is more than two storeys high.
If you can see plants growing out from your gutters or there is any sign of pest infestation then it is a great time to call in the professionals too.
Obviously the amount of time it takes for a professional company to get your gutters sparkling will depend on how dirty they were in the first place and how big your house is. However, on average, the job takes anything between 30 minutes to two hours.
How much does gutter cleaning cost?
It is usual for professional gutter cleaning companies or individuals to provide you with a fixed price for the job. If there are repairs to be made, they can factor these in too. This is a better route than opting for an hourly-rate as you won't be in for any nasty surprises — just be sure to clarify exactly what work you are getting done for the price.
Many specialist companies will offer a free on-site survey and quote, will take away all the debris and won't ask for payment until the job is completed. Many use gutter vacuums that can reach awkward spots and up to four storeys high.
Most professionals seem to charge around £5 - £9 per metre of guttering — so the quote your receive will very much depend on how much guttering you have on your house. If your gutters are really dirty or blocked this figure could well rise to around £10 per metre. That said, it is important to be aware that many companies will have a minimum fee they will charge to make it a worthwhile job for them — around £40-£50 is common. Alternatively, you may find they have a minimum job specification based on meterage — for example a minimum of 10m.
So, for a semi-detached house, with 15m of guttering to be cleaned, you could expect costs of between £75 and £135.
For houses with multiple storeys, the prices are likely to be higher, pushed up by the need for gutter vacuums and sometimes a cherry picker.
Finally, double check what your quote includes — it should be crystal clear what services you are getting. For example, will minor repairs be included? Are your downpipes being cleared too, or just the gutters?
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Natasha is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Associate Content Editor and has been a member of the team for over two decades. An experienced journalist and renovation expert, she has written for a number of homes titles. Over the years Natasha has renovated and carried out a side extension to a Victorian terrace. She is currently living in the rural Edwardian cottage she renovated and extended on a largely DIY basis, living on site for the duration of the project. She is now looking for her next project — something which is proving far harder than she thought it would be.