How Much Does Gutter Cleaning Cost?
Budgeting for a regular maintenance fee to keep gutters flowing freely is cheaper than risking long-term water damage from clogged gutters. Most homeowners pay between $119 and $228, or an average of $163 in gutter cleaning costs.
- The typical range for gutter cleaning costs is $119 to $228 with a national average of $163.
- The most significant cost factors for gutter cleaning are house height, gutter length and condition, gutter type, gutter width, roof slope, labor, and geographic location.
- Gutter cleaning can protect against water damage to a home and its landscaping as well as preventing pests, extending the life of the roof and gutters, and protecting home value.
- Cleaning gutters is a suitable DIY project for many, but for homeowners who have physical limitations, are wary of working on a ladder, or don’t have time for this chore, hiring a gutter cleaning service can be highly beneficial.
It’s easy to take gutters for granted and forget they need regular maintenance. When they work correctly, they do the essential job of channeling excess water away from the house. But gutters are prone to collecting debris. Twigs, leaves, shingles, and even lost toys can quickly overwhelm a gutter, so it’s important for homeowners to schedule regular gutter cleanings to keep them flowing freely.
According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, gutter cleaning costs range from $119 to $228, or an average of $163. The cost is usually calculated by the linear foot, and multistory homes always start at a higher price point. If the gutters have rarely been cleaned, it may cost a bit more to get them in great shape again.
Factors in Calculating Gutter Cleaning Cost
Cleaning gutters seems like a straightforward task, but a few complexities go into calculating gutter cleaning costs. A gutter pro will consider the house height, gutter length and condition, and any potential repairs. Travel time will also factor into gutter cleaning costs, as will the home’s specific location. There are several top factors that influence gutter cleaning prices.
The gutters on single-story homes are the easiest to reach and clean, which means they’re typically much cheaper to clean than those on larger multistory homes. It usually costs $70 to $250 for a single-story house. If a gutter cleaner needs to reach a second- or third-story gutter, the cost increases to between $100 and $500. The complexity of the roofline, the pitch, and other risk factors can also potentially increase the cost.
Gutter Length and Condition
The length of the gutters is the most significant variable for how much gutter cleaning costs. A 1-story house could have a huge footprint that’s larger than the average house. Most bids calculate the gutter length by the linear foot, which is basically the length of each gutter. Some contractors might bid by the square footage of the entire house, minus the areas without gutters. To calculate the square footage costs, a contractor will estimate the home’s total square footage and multiply it by about $0.40 per foot for a single-story or $0.80 for a 2-story house. It’s also worth noting that gutters that are excessively clogged could cost 10 to 50 percent more to clean.
Gutters can be classified as either seamed or seamless. Seamed gutters are segmented, and the places where two lengths of gutter meet tend to trap more debris. This can result in a 10 to 25 percent higher gutter cleaning cost since it may take longer to clean seamed gutters. Most new gutters that are installed on homes are seamless, so it may be worth upgrading to this kind of gutter to prevent frequent clogging. Seamless gutters cost between $652 and $1,720 to install.
The vast majority of gutters have a standard width of 5 inches, and for these average gutter cleaning costs will apply. Larger gutters can be as wide as 6 or 7 inches, which may incur a higher cleaning cost since they can hold more debris. Homeowners whose gutters are larger than standard size will want to budget for a 5 to 10 percent price increase in their gutter cleaning costs.
While most homes are built on relatively flat surfaces, there may be at least one side with a steep slope, making it more challenging to reach the gutters. Because of this extra risk, time, and effort necessary to get the job done, the cost may increase by about 15 percent. The same is true if there is a lot of landscaping around the gutters that makes them difficult to access.
Labor makes up a fair portion of the total gutter cleaning costs, with materials accounting for much of the remaining price. Labor costs can vary by region and are also typically higher during peak seasons. Any gear or equipment that is needed for the job will cost between $20 and $50.
The area where the house is located will affect the total price of gutter cleaning. For example, the average cost of gutter cleaning in Illinois starts at $100, whereas in California homeowners pay between $140 and $270. Labor rates tend to be higher in metropolitan and even suburban areas where the cost of living is higher. There may also be increased demand and a low supply of gutter cleaners in some areas, which also drives the price higher.
|State||Average Cost (Materials and Labor)|
|California||$140 to $270|
|Florida||$110 to $260|
|Idaho||$110 to $210|
|Illinois||$100 to $170|
|Massachusetts||$130 to $220|
|Minnesota||$120 to $200|
|New York||$120 to $230|
|Texas||$130 to $250|
Additional Costs and Considerations
A well-maintained gutter usually does fine with just a regular cleaning service, but if it’s getting old or is rarely maintained, then it may require additional cleaning and repair. Some additional costs may not be accounted for by a gutter cleaning cost calculator. A gutter cleaning pro can go over any other services that might be needed and their associated costs.
Gutter inspection is typically done at the time of gutter cleaning in order to determine whether the gutters will also require any repairs. Any damage that is discovered will need to be addressed as soon as possible since it is likely to lead to water damage. In most cases, gutter inspection costs will be included in the cleaning cost.
A pro may notice that there aren’t enough downspouts to handle the load. A homeowner may also want to have the downspout buried and extended beyond its current location. Installing downspouts costs between $5 and $20 per linear foot, but installing an extender can come with an additional cost.
Cleaning each downspout is more challenging, which is why it can increase the total cost by $50 to $100 per job. If the gutters were filled with debris, the downspouts could be heavily clogged, so it’s essential to make sure they’re free of debris as well.
The same debris that can end up in a home’s gutters can also litter the roof, especially if the home is located in an area with dense tree cover. Many companies offer both roof and gutter cleaning. Opting for roof cleaning in addition to gutter cleaning will add about $250 to $600 to the overall cost.
Gutter Cleaning Frequency
There is often confusion among homeowners as to how often to clean gutters. A general rule of thumb is to have gutters cleaned out at least three times per year or at the change of each season. In milder climates, it may only be necessary to have them cleaned twice a year. Many homeowners find that gutter guards are worth it as they increase the time between cleanings. If gutters are severely clogged, this could increase the cleaning cost by 10 to 50 percent, so having this service performed regularly may be a cost-effective option.
In some cases gutter damage is not noticeable until after the gutter has been cleaned. Some common issues include rusting, bent or dented sections, or loose fixtures. If any damage is discovered during gutter cleaning or inspection, most gutter repairs cost $100 to $250. If there is severe damage and gutters need to be replaced, gutter installation costs $622 to $1,677 on average.
Gutter Guards and Accessories
As gutter cleaners make sure the gutters are free from debris, they’ll do some quick inspections to ensure each part is functioning correctly. They may recommend replacing worn-out guards, corners, caps, or fascia. Additionally, a pro can install one of the best gutter guards, which can help prevent large debris from clogging the gutters. Gutter guards cost $6 to $8 per linear foot to install, and they come with pros and cons. The extra work to remove them for cleaning could increase the cleaning cost, but they’re effective enough that they may decrease the need for frequent gutter cleaning.
Homeowners may be charged travel fees if they are not within a gutter cleaning company’s service area. Areas with high demand for gutter cleaning, especially during peak cleaning season, may also experience higher costs.
Do I need gutter cleaning?
Signs of gutters in poor condition are apparent. A homeowner might notice stains or mildew, an increase in pests, overflowing debris, sagging gutters, and roof leaks. Generally, these indicate a serious problem with the gutters that may require more than just cleaning.
Staining and Mildew
One of the first signs that gutters that aren’t working correctly are stains on the gutters or the sides of the house. They could be improperly attached or clogged with debris, making the water spill over and leak down the house. This leak can often grow mold and mildew, spreading quickly and threatening a home and its inhabitants.
Pests of all shapes and sizes love to find dark and moist places to nest. Debris-filled gutters make great homes since they’re out of the way and rarely get disturbed in some climates. Leaving the gutters to the pests can eventually damage the roof or attract larger predators like snakes or feral cats. If there are many insects or mice crawling around the gutters or roof, the gutters likely need a thorough cleaning. Homeowners may also need to hire one of the best pest control companies, like Orkin or Terminix, to help get rid of the pests.
Gutters that have long been left on their own may even begin to sprout new plant life. With enough dirt, water, and sunlight, any seeds that made their way into the gutter could take root and make a run for the sun. Over time, the roots can damage the roof, shingles, and gutters. While finding plants growing in the gutter may be mildly amusing, homeowners can do an online search for “gutter cleaning near me” to get the gutters back to their original purpose of channeling water, not growing plants.
Excessive Leaves and Debris
It’s normal for homeowners to see some leaves and debris in gutters since the gutters are the collection point for whatever falls with the rain and wind. However, if leaves are abundant, then the gutters require assistance. Water can only push the debris down so much before it clogs or sticks together. Abundant leaves and debris will quickly cause water to overflow onto the house and damage the exterior.
A sagging gutter can happen for a couple of reasons. The weight of excessive debris, snow, or ice, or an improper installation may cause gutters to sag. No matter the cause, it’s a precursor to further house damage. It’s a good idea for the homeowner to call a pro at the first sign of sagging gutters for gutter replacement or repair.
If it has been at least a year since the gutters were last cleaned, it’s probably time to clean them again. Even if there are no apparent signs of damage, there is debris building up. Getting them cleaned out before obvious damage occurs will save money in the long run on more serious repairs.
Gutters are designed to tilt ever so slightly toward their downspout. When gutters have the proper design, gravity does the trick to ensure the water flows out the appropriate channel and away from the house. If there is a trickle of water or a waterfall coming from the side of a gutter, there is a clogged gutter problem.
One of the worst consequences of clogged gutters is a roof leak. This happens when water can’t flow properly out the downspout and instead finds the nearest exit point, which could be inside the roof. Roof leaks are usually discovered late since they destroy the upper attic before reaching the living space ceiling. The cost of repairing a roof leak could far surpass hiring a regular gutter cleaning service.
Similar to a roof leak, overflowing or seeping water can damage the exterior and interior walls. This also happens when a gutter has been blocked for an extended period. The standing water weakens the upper walls and the fascia before working its destruction down the sides of the walls.
Benefits of Regular Gutter Cleaning
It’s easy to forget about gutters since they’re out of sight and out of mind. As long as they look to be in good condition, homeowners can assume that they’re performing correctly. But since water damage is an insidious and slow process, the damage done by clogged gutters may not be apparent until it’s too late. Regularly cleaning gutters is the key to preventing water damage to the house or landscaping and extending the roof’s life.
Water Damage Prevention
The primary purpose of gutters is to prevent dripping water from damaging a house at its most vulnerable points: where the roof meets the walls and along the foundation. When water can’t flow freely down the gutter and downspout, it will find the next easiest way out. That’s usually into any crack in the roofline, down the walls, and along the foundation. Water damage can become a costly home repair, so keeping gutters debris-free is the best prevention.
The landscaping around a house makes a property aesthetically appealing, but it can also help moderate temperatures and boost property value. If gutters overflow water into the landscaping below, the plants can be damaged or even swept away in a significant downpour. Soil erosion also happens more easily, which then exposes more of the foundation to the elements.
Basement Flooding Prevention
Downspouts are precisely placed to keep water from flowing toward the foundation or basement windows or doors. When gutters are clogged and overflowing, the excess water flows to the lowest, uninhibited point—and that could be right into a basement. Since basements tend to be darker, cooler, and damper already, the influx of floodwater becomes a dangerous breeding ground for mold. Not to mention it can damage carpets, furniture, and other valuables.
Pest Infestation Prevention
Keeping leaves and debris out of the gutters is the best way to prevent pest infestations on a roof. Many rodents and insects prefer dark and undisturbed areas to nest. From there, they often damage more of the house as they boldly take over more living space in the roof and walls.
Extended Roof Life
If the region experiences snowy winters, it’s essential to remove the autumn debris before a severe snowstorm. Water can pool around the debris and freeze into ice, which will stay in place until the temperatures rise. The weight of standing ice can cause gutters to sag, and, eventually, the roof materials may collapse. Or the ice can expose the roof to leaks when it pushes the shingles apart as it expands during the freezing process.
Extended Gutters Life
Gutters will last longer if they’re regularly maintained. As the organic content of debris begins to decay, it can cause the gutters and their parts to rust and corrode. Without the excess weight of twigs, leaves, and other debris, the gutters won’t sag, cause damage, or fall off entirely.
Home Value Protection
Gutters are an essential part of a home’s value since they have such a big impact on protecting the roof and foundation. Homeowners who are planning on selling their homes will want to be sure to get the gutters cleaned and inspected to make sure they add value and don’t detract. Prospective buyers might not consider the condition of gutters unless they’re in obvious disrepair. Neglected gutters can turn potential buyers off from buying the house, as they can indicate a much more serious problem with the roof.
Gutter Cleaning: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
When it comes to knowing how to clean gutters, the process seems simple: Wear some gloves, get on a ladder, and pull out the leaves. Gutter cleaning hose attachments can make it possible to flush out debris from a distance. There are even gutter cleaning kits available for purchase. The challenge is that it’s not as easy as it would seem to work on a ladder while reaching off to the side. Ladder accidents are a common source of emergency room trips, so if actively working on a ladder is a concern, then it may be best to leave it to a pro. This goes double for working on gutters on a 2-story house or higher.
Homeowners may want to consider leaving this chore to one of the best gutter cleaning services. Gutter cleaners are more comfortable than the average person when working on ladders or roofs while reaching, pulling, shifting, and holding tools. They also have the necessary gutter cleaning tools and ladders to reach the roofline and all the equipment to perform an inspection. Their keen eyes can identify a problem area before it turns into a disaster and get it repaired in no time. In the skillful hands of a gutter cleaning pro, gutters can look as good as new for years to come, eliminating worries about water leaks, pest infestations, or a decrease in home value.
How to Save Money on Gutter Cleaning Cost
Gutter cleaning costs aren’t high compared to some home repair costs, but saving money on the up-front costs of a recurring service is beneficial and appealing to most homeowners. Check out these tips for saving money on gutter cleaning costs.
- Keep an eye on deals. Gutter cleaning companies may run promotions in local ads or through email alerts.
- Ask about referrals. Ask a neighbor who had their gutters cleaned for a referral. The company may have a referral discount.
- Ask about volume discounts. Check with a gutter cleaning company to see if it will offer a discount if you and your neighbors book services at the same time.
- Book multiple services at once. See if your preferred company offers both gutter and window cleaning, or another desired service. You may get a discount by having two services done at once.
- Install gutter guards. Installing gutter guards will protect the gutters from most debris so you can service them less frequently.
- Ask about military discounts. Companies may also offer first responder, teacher, or senior discounts when applicable.
- Consider an annual contract. Ask if the company has annual contracts that offer a discount price for multiple services throughout the year.
Questions to Ask About Gutter Cleaning Cost
Since gutter cleaning is intended to extend the life of the home’s structural integrity, it’s important to ask the right questions to feel comfortable about the process and to avoid miscommunication. Homeowners will want to make sure that they are working with a qualified gutter cleaning service before hiring it, so be sure to ask if the company is licensed and insured. A company that’s been in the business for a while will also have the experience and equipment, such as the best gutter cleaners, to effectively handle the property’s needs.
- What do you typically charge for a single or 2-story house on level ground?
- Do you charge a trip or travel fee?
- Do you provide a fixed price quote if I don’t need extra services?
- How long will it take to clean my gutters?
- Do you include downspout cleaning with each cleaning, or is that an extra fee?
- Will you inspect the gutters, roof, and fascia for damage?
- Can you make any repairs while you’re on-site?
- How much do you charge to install gutter guards?
- Do you clean up the mess after removing the debris?
- Do you have an annual maintenance plan?
- What’s the best thing I can do to keep my gutters in good condition?
Hiring gutter cleaners isn’t a complicated process, but it still helps to be prepared with plenty of information in order to be prepared with an estimated budget. Homeowners can keep the answers to frequently asked questions in mind to help guide the decision-making process.
Q. How much should I pay to have my gutters cleaned?
You can expect to pay around $163 to have your gutters cleaned, as long as they aren’t in terrible shape or you don’t have extra services performed. Most single-story homes average $70 to $250, and 2-story homes average $100 to $325.
Q. How often should I clean my gutters?
Without gutter guards, you should have your gutters cleaned two to three times per year, particularly at the change of seasons when more debris falls. If you install gutter guards, you can extend the time between services. The most crucial time to clean gutters is in the fall, when most of the debris is collected in the gutters. That way, ice won’t build up and damage the gutters or roof.
Q. What does gutter cleaning include?
Gutter cleaners will remove all debris from gutters and gutter guards. They will also inspect the gutters, roof, walls, and fascia to determine if repairs are needed. Minor repairs like fastening screws or adding a new end cap could be included for free. Some companies also include the cost of unclogging downspouts rather than charging extra.
Q. How long does it take to clean gutters?
Most gutter cleaning jobs only take a couple of hours to complete. It may take longer if you have gutter guards, steep roofs, difficult terrain, or significant debris.
Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, Fixr, HomeGuide