Gutter Cleaners Find More than Leaves Up There

Gutter Cleaners Find More than Leaves Up There


Tyler Kirk spends lots of time putting his hands in Charlotte-area gutters. You might be surprised at what he pulls out.

Kirk’s highly rated The Go To Crew provides gutter cleaning, window cleaning and outdoor lighting throughout the Charlotte region. With the crisp autumn cold arriving in the Carolinas, he’ll be pulling a lot of leaves from a lot of gutters in the weeks to come.

But that’s not all, he says. Besides the usual stuff that nature drops in, what kinds of things does a gutter cleaner find?

  • Animals: Some are dead and some are alive, but most are trapped in the gutter downspout, Kirk says. That includes squirrels, raccoons, sewer rats and, yes, snakes. “We call them Winnie the Pooh,” he says.
  • Tools: Yes, tools. Roofers, just like absent-minded homeowners, can leave their tools behind. Kirk says he regularly finds items like large screwdrivers, plus loose shingles or gloves that workers forgot to toss to the ground.
  • Toys: Kirk can tell how athletic a family is – or how un-athletic, maybe – by how many wiffle balls, tennis balls and baseballs make their way into gutters. “People could promote clean gutters by spending more time with their kids – and improving their aim,” he says.

Experts recommend checking your gutters during rain to make sure water is coming out of the downspouts and not over the edge of a gutter – the sure sign of a clog. Other issues could be affecting proper drainage, such as downspouts that are too small or two short.

Jeff Stauffenberg of Squeegee Man recommends two gutter cleanings a year, just to take care of the ordinary stuff from nature that collects up there. An average home visit costs about $100-150, he says. If you find yourself frequently tending to clogged gutters because you have a lot of trees, you could save some money with gutter guards.

A tip: Smart customers combine gutter cleaning with other tasks like window washing and replacing bulbs in flood lights – both of which Kirk is happy to do. “Get a lot done when you’ve already got someone on a tall ladder,” he says.

Who knows? He might find those baseballs you’ve been missing.

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