Gutter Cleaning
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Gutter Vacuum Vehicle – Very Cool

We are excited to add the gutter vacuum truck to our “tool box” of gutter cleaning methods. Our crews have found it makes the the whole process, cleaner, safer, quicker and way cooler. Lets talk about each of these areas a little:

Cleaner – when cleaning gutters sometimes debris can dirty the outside of the gutter or drop to the ground
Safer – You can run the hose down long stretches or clean with a pole from the ground – reducing ladders setups and movements
Quicker– reducing setup time and a common collection tank also means jobs can be accomplished much faster than before.
Way Cooler – Its takes out the reaching into a gutter with your hand or a gutter spoon.

Some Techical items:
The unit is mounted in a Sprinter van, and can run up to four 200 foot hoses. The debris is vacuumed back into our tanks, where solids and water are separated in a tank filtering system.

Does this mean all the sites we service will be cleaned with the gutter vacuum truck? The gutter vacuum system is big part of our gutter cleaning methods, however it doesn’t replace our high ladder crew and rope access crews. Its real value is demonstrated in town house complexes where you can get access to most units via roadways.

The other area where the vacuum van will be helpful is parkade pressure washing projects where we can vacuum the water up as we pressure wash. This will leave a cleaner surface and also can be used for high capacity water extraction in large loss floods.

The gutter vacuum system and our gutter maintenance programs help us lead the way in modern gutter cleaning.

Gutter Maintenance Program – Update

So last weekend made it official: Fall is here. The leaves are changing and inclement weather is a reality. Perhaps some of you may have noticed some of your gutters aren’t working as well as they should.
But that problem probably did not just magically appear on Saturday: there likely were months of biological accumulation into your gutters that resulted in a blockage. Staying on top of it requires a year-round solution, not a “once a year cleaning” solution.
Many of our clients elect to be on one of our gutter maintenance programs. These are full year programs where we undertake a usual total clean, and then we also do service calls if there are any subsequent problems. 
Previously we capped the number of return visits 
moving forward, our gutter cleaning programs will now have Unlimited Number of Service Calls. 


The only exception to this is for certain buildings or
Gutter Quotes Button
complexes that requires two full cleanings a year. Usually they are located in heavily wooded areas where significant amounts of foliage drops throughout the year. We will clearly inform buildings of this requirement during a quote.
So this fall keep on top of your gutter problems by dealing with them before they actually become a problem.
For more information on our gutter cleaning service please CLICK HERE .

Gutter Guard Vs Gutter Foam – What Works In The West Coast Climate

Fall is upon us in the Lower Mainland and with it comes dropping leaves,


How Do You Clean This? 

as well as the heavy storms that will break branches and nettles from large evergreen trees. As a result, the health of a building’s gutters is at the top of many property managers’ minds. One approach to dealing with these issues that we see from time to time, is a leaf guard gutter. As you may have seen, this system basically adds a lip to the top of the gutter, which prevents leaves from entering into the channel. Although this is generally effective at its role, Leafguards are not well suited for the West Coast environment.

In particular the Lower Mainland has a very gutter-foam-2high number of conifers with nettles, like pines or hemlock. When their twigs and nettles fall, they bypass the guard and enter into the drainage canal and will start to form a slimy difficult to remove blockage over time. We have had dozens of these calls over the past few years, and they pose a problem: often the LeafGuard system’s warrantee is usually voided when opened up to clean. They still need to be cleaned but they cannot easily be opened and often can’t be opened without damage.

This year we are starting to deploy a new weapon in the war against clogged gutters; Foam Guards. As its name suggests, it is a foam insert that sits within the gutter, which allows for water and small particulates to travel unimpeded to the downspout while preventing larger debris from getting into the system. It is a dramatically more effective system in our climate. It is nearly impossible for debris to get into the system, and larger pieces of foliage are for the most part blown off the top due to wind and weather.

Although gutters with the foam guards still require a gutter-foamclean every year or two, they are far quicker than a normal cleaning call because they can be easily removed and without damaging the gutter system.

Perhaps the best part is that foam guards are significantly less costly than leafguards; and can be retrofitted into a building’s existing gutter systems in a tenth of a time it takes to install the alternative.

Best practice for gutter cleaning is be on a gutter maintenance program and to use gutter foam in challenged areas.

Technical Gutter Cleaning – The Spoon

Gutter SpoonsWhat do we use? Gutter Spoons. Now this might look like its one step away from a salad spoon from the kitchen drawer, but it really is the most effective solution.  To use the spoon, you need to be above the gutter, so you have an unobstructed view of what is going on. Its much easier to ensure that the system is working. Second, it allows our technicians to quickly remove a large amount of material from a gutter, but with the added advantage of being able to reach deep into its corners and crevices. Finally, its light: we can use spoons while walking on the roof, or on top of a ladder. .

James & Gutter Spoon
Rocks in Roof Channel

We Know Your Pain! Success With Gutter Maintenance & The Service Call

As a property manager, I’m sure you’ve seen an urgent phone or email like this before:
“My building’s gutters are overflowing!”
You want to be a hero for your building, but you need the tools to provide the quick, painless solutions. You have questions: Who will take care of it? Can they come before the next storm? Can they investigate and report back with the result? What will it cost?
Some of you may know (or be on) ServiceMaster’s gutter maintenance program: it is the answer for all those questions. A crew will be dispatched to the problem before escalates further, where we will investigate situation and report back with a solution. You can have the confidence that it will be sorted out quickly, and the best part: the cost is included in the package. Thus you have cost certainty for the next 12 months.
We have revamped our gutter care program for 2015 & 2016 to now include a Standard Gutter Cleaning PLUS six Service Calls included for 12 months after the initial cleaning (A Potential Value $ 900.00). 

So what should you look out for when considering a gutter maintenance program? First use a contractor that has the ability & capacity to perform over 12 months, not a seasonal exterior cleaning business. Second, look for a contractor that uses technology in the field to provide real time information: this will help to ensure you get the fastest service possible. Finally you should look for a company who cares about the gutter health of your building and has a vested interest. We do all of those things, and that’s the ServiceMaster difference.

How will this year’s weather affect Gutter Cleaning at your buildings?

The weather this year has been unusual to say the least, with a summer drought leading to Stage 3 Water restrictions.  Because of this we are the proud owners of a 3000-gallon water tank that we used to assist with the cleaning we undertook over the summer.
So what does the unusual summer weather mean for gutter cleaning? Simple; we have a lot of very dry trees around the lower mainland, which have been further weakened by the recent storms. It is evident that more leaves and branches will fall this year than in previous years.
Many of our customers have thought that they should wait to clean our gutters until all the leaves have fallen to get the most value for money from their service. In some cases this is true and in most not. It is not because nobody can predict when heavy rains will come and when all the leaves will fall. This is especially true given we are in an El Nino year, which may lead to an warmer, wetter fall and winter. When the gutter system is not ready for the heavy rains, major problems occur: blockages, breakages, interior floods, and foundation problems. However, every building has different needs, which may not be easy to identify. Some gutters can be cleaned once a year and some need to be twice. It all depends on a host of factors, such as the system’s design, its integrity and the amount of foliage in the area.
So what should you do? Ask us. Our team has been cleaning gutters in the lower mainland for over 20 years and possesses deep experience in identifying a building’s requirement. We’ll put together a plan and give you an estimate, which will provide real value for you and the strata members that you represent.

Roof Cleaning For Strata’s

There are benefits to living in the Lower Mainland: the warm, wet climate is much preferred to the icy coldness that grips eastern Canada today, while verdant forests proviold grungy roof tiles overgrown with mossde a beautiful backdrop for the region. Managing a building with a roof however, is definitely not an advantage of living in the region. The very same climate and foliage makes for almost ideal growing conditions for moss, mildew and mold accumulation. This roof growth has a number of negative effects that a property manager needs to be aware of. Most roofs should have a life expectancy of 24 to 28 years, yet the average age of a roof replacement is 14 to 20. These problems are not confined to roofs designed for replacement; the growth damages all types of materials:

Concrete tiles can become porous

Asphalt loses its oil and disintegrate.

Shake roofs rots cracks and warps.

Metal roofs surface become etched, losing lustre and durability.

All of these cause damage. Moreover mold, moss mildew accumulation can give a building an prematurely aged look. Even if they are removed over time, they can seriously discolour the roof surface and facades and decrease property values. Finally they have a knock on effect: roof growth traps organic matter like leaves and nettles, which then are pushed into the gutters during storms, causing blockages and overflows. This vastly increases the costs of maintaining a building.

Roof Cleaning is an area we have been doing for the past few years as an offshoot of our gutter cleaning programs. These are often in building that have chronic blockage issues with their drainage systems. However we see many more buildings with similar issues. We utilize industry leading eco-friendly techniques, which not only remove the existing growth, but delay its return for several years. Finally, our technicians can clean most roofs, even ones with steep pitches. We can often use our rope access systems to reach areas that would normally be inaccessible to regular cleaning techniques.

Another Day in Vancouver, Success With Gutter Maintenance Programs

If you’re looking outside your window today in the Lower Mainland, chances are you are being treated to the effects of another pacific storm, which is dumping buckets of rain and blowing around anything that is not nailed down. Its goes without saying that we’re seeing more storms, with greater severity and longer durations.

Moreover in the last two years we’ve seen longer, warmer summers. That means trees often grow more foliage and they stay on branches for longer. Whereas Vancouverites once saw leaves drop from trees in September and into early October, now they may only start turning colours in October and drop in November (if not later.)

These climatic changes pose a serious challenge for strata buildings. Harsher storms create more debris, including nettles and broken branches that can create stubborn blockages in gutter downspouts. This means keeping your gutters clean now require more than just a one visit by a cleaner… several service calls are required to keep them clean.

Our gutter maintenance programs are tailored for the seasonal patterns in the west coast. We come once a year and do a full gutter cleaning around your building(s) and send you a report. Often we will identify problem areas where problems may reoccur. In addition, programs come with unlimited service calls, just in case new debris fouls the downspout again. We think this provides excellent value for money, as the cost of a cleaning + an unexpected secondary cleaning with another company is greater than our program with the service call. Its a little bit insurance that can be all the difference in the unsettled weather we face in Vancouver.

Customer Success with gutter maintenance programs!

customer_support_to_sucessOur job at ServiceMaster Clean Residential is to make our customers successful; end of story. However our “customer” is not a single entity. In reality there are two. The first is the property managers and then there are the buildings and their residents. While you are there to represent the interest of the buildings, they also have their own needs that must be taken care of.

ServiceMaster’s gutter maintenance programs are an example of how we enable both to have success when it comes to dealing with their gutter systems throughout the year. Lets go through many of the stories that we encounter. You ask us for a quote, you select the gutter maintenance option on behalf of your strata. For this your building benefits from a higher level of service, one of the benefits being service calls included after the initial cleaning of the gutters.

Our production team cleans the gutters at your building provides a completion report on the overall condition, which often includes some pictures or video footage. Unfortunately, gutter cleaning in the lower mainland is not a one-time event. As a rainforest with large numbers of coniferous and evergreen trees that shed needles year around, drains can become plugged all throughout the year. So its not uncommon to have someone from a building call a few months after a clean about a badly overflowing gutter, and how the world is going to end if its not dealt with ASAP.

Your next move is where the success truly happens for both you and that building.

You contact us, we respond within an hour and we dispatch a crew soon after. They attend to the area, rectify the problem and provide a report we then forward to you (and you can forward to the affected building). It should also be mentioned that you wont be getting an invoice for the service call, so at the end of the year your budget number will be your actual, not an initial service and multiple services afterwards.

This leads to success, for both you and the building you represent, which is what we are in the business to do.

For more information on gutter our gutter maintenance programs please click here

The Evolution of Gutter Cleaning Services – Gutter Cleaning Program Care

Overflowing GutterIn order to maintain a healthy business relationship, both sides must feel good about a service agreement; the purchaser and the service provider.  This can be especially challenging with gutter cleaning based on expectations for results of the service.  Can one visit in the fall to clean the gutters at a strata ensure that they are functioning properly until the same time next year?  Sometimes.  But often, this is not the case.  This is due to the differences between cleaning gutters and other services.   This has led to us to:

The Evolution of Gutter Cleaning Services

Most service providers offer a 1 X Gutter cleaning service.  In fact, in the GVRD, this is what most property  managers expect  is the only option that they are able to find for gutter cleaning.  However, in 2009, ServiceMaster Clean Residential introduced a higher level of service in order to meet the actual demands of gutter maintenance around the GVRD.  We believe this is the next step in the evolution of gutter cleaning service.  It has been met with great success over the years.

We realized that the same issues arose each year during gutter cleaning season and determined it was time to do something to address that.  So we took a look at what we routinely faced.  We found this necessary in order to ensure both we as the service provider and our customers felt good about the service arrangement.

We found the most common issues are:

-Small areas around a strata needing extra attention, or getting clogged up weeks or months after the initial service was performed.
– Minor issues that due to repair work needed rather than cleaning
-Strata’s not knowing what was done or not, as gutters can be difficult to see inside.
-Understanding what a ‘clean gutter’ is. (Click here for an article on what a clean gutter is)

We found that the approach most people had to addressing any issue with their gutters, was to phone our office and demand that we come back as we had ‘not done the job right.’

While everyone makes mistakes  and sometimes things might get overlooked during a service, we found that in the majority of these instances were related to one or more of the four issues outlined above.  So in many cases we would do a spot clean for the customer for free, or, clean the area but take photos proving it had been cleaned previously and then charging for the time, or, insist we needed to meet someone on site in order to show them that other problems existed that required repair and could not be fixed with cleaning.   No matter what both sides were not left feeling good about the way things unfolded.  And that’s not the way we want to do business.  We want our customers to feel great about using our company for services.  So what we needed was a way to address the reality of the situation so that everyone felt respected, valued, and treated fairly.  We did this by adding additional levels of service for low cost in our ‘Gutter Cleaning Maintenance Program’ offering.

Includes all Standard Gutter Cleaning PLUS

  1. SERVICE CALLS – By including 6 free spots cleans, our customers know we are dedicated to taking care of their ongoing needs, and that we understand a 1x visit to clean gutters does not always provide enough attention to keep gutters functioning properly throughout the year.  We anticipate that new clogs can and do happen, and are prepared to fix them as they come up over time.  We also look at the bigger picture to  determine how best to ensure that the customers gutter systems are maintained.

    Do new problems arise because a section of the strata has gutters in heavily treed areas?  Did the first service get done early in the season, and a lot of leaves fell after that service was complete?  Did a gutter get plugged up because some kids playing with tennis balls sent one up into the gutter that plugged the top of the downspout?  It doesn’t matter what the reason – we’ll take care of it, quickly, and at no additional charge when a strata has chosen a Gutter Maintenance Program.

    Does this mean we have less incentive to ‘do it right the first time’?  Absolutely not!  Every trip to a strata costs us in fuel and labour charges.  We don’t want to have to go back.  But we also want our customers resting assured that we will if necessary to take care of them.  That builds a stronger business relationship, and leads to approaching problem situations with a spirit of cooperation and understanding.

  2. Report Any Issues Discovered

This focuses primarily on providing information regarding the gutter system beyond our ability to address.  If there are areas that are off-slope and need to be adjusted, we can inform the strata.  We’re also looking for areas of heavy damage, areas which were not installed properly, or areas that are not functioning well due to overtaxing their capacity (may need another downspout installed, etc.)

This information can then be used if strata chooses to adjust their system so that its function is improved

So how can we afford to include all this extra work and service visits?

We charge a small amount more than for a regular gutter cleaning service, yet one additional service call could be $250-$475 at regular price.   We can afford to offer this to our customers because with such a large pool of customers each paying a bit more for the full maintenance plan, those who need it can benefit.  It’s like insurance; not everyone needs to use all of their service calls, and we can draw upon the pool to ensure our workers are paid for their time.  We also grow our business because our customers know we put them first, even if it may cost us a little.   That’s something very important to us; great customer relationships.

So if your strata’s haven’t considered a gutter cleaning maintenance program, they should take a look at the option.  It’s a solution to the real world issues faced during gutter cleaning to ensure that everyone wins.

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