Is SkyVac the WFP equivalent to gutter cleaning?

They’re both $4kish, and it sounds like both are only good on repeat jobs, as neither can do a true deep clean. In this case of the SkyVac, my homework implies you can’t unclog a stuffed downspout…is this true?

I make 2x-3x as much money cleaning gutters, so wondering if SkyVac is worth the investment…

I bought a system and a wcr member bought a different one.

Laughable how poor they were.

Beyond the poor results it was just clunky.

I have large homes and lots of hills around me. I think our hose was 100’, maybe it was just 50’. “rolling the unit” around was not ideal.

I remember thinking the only way it would make good sense is to built out a rig dedicated to gutters. Figure 20k would build a badass system

It’s a tool. Not very efficient on most jobs. Can be a life saver - literally - on some with high/difficult access. I bought a used one from a guy two years ago. We don’t use it often but it is nice to have when needed.

I would echo what @TDclean said. It’s a tool, useful for awkward spots or when the debris inside is just wet muck (which is a classic scenario during October / November gutter cleaning to be honest)

The price tag on the Sky Vacs always seemed a little ridiculous to me. I ended up making a DIY version with a wet/dry shop vac and some stackable 8 foot lengths of vacuum PVC. It honestly works well enough and only cost around $500 (the vac was the expensive part of course which I bought new)

Similar to what they do in the video below, there are other similar videos out there with similar DIY setups. Do your own research but I honestly am glad I went the DIY route instead as it serves the same purpose for the most part…

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Gotta chime in because I just bought the new Interceptor model a couple of months ago. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a 5.5hp Honda engine attached directly to the vac so it’s 100% self contained now. No generators, no blowing breakers. It’s shaved about 1/3rd-1/2 of my time off of doing gutters. I can do about a $250 gutter job in about 60-75 minutes including setup/breakdown. I also bought a GoPro for mine and didn’t buy their camera because I get more flexibility with the GoPro. I use the app to make videos of the cleaning job, post them to YouTube, send them to the customer and their jaws drop because they’ve never seen anything like it before, and they’ve never had a gutter cleaner actually show them what was done and they just took the cleaner’s word for it that they did something up there. I just like efficiency a lot in what I do, hence the WFP for windows. I got tired of lugging a ladder around, reaching 4-6’ to the right of me, 4-6’ to the left, putting it in the bag, going down the ladder, repeat. I also got tired of going through gloves each winter as they became waterlogged and punctured from gutter edges. I’m looking forward now to those clients that call in the first two weeks of December that call me as soon as the last leaf drops and I put off going because cleaning gutters when it’s 30-40 degrees out sucks. So far the jobs have paid off about 20-25% of what I paid for it, and I have full confidence it will have paid for itself by the end of the season. The only thing so far that brings me down about it, but is to be expected, is that when you’re pulling heavy muck out of some gutters, you will have to stop, break it down, flush the hose with water, clean out the head and filter, rinse the drum, and slap it all back together to get 100% suction back because it can only take SO much. It takes me about 10 minutes and on the worst job I’ve used it on I had to do that twice, but in the SkyVac’s defense, this was a gutter job that probably hadn’t been cleaned in 4-5 years and was so filled with pine needles they were composting and growing saplings out of them that were about 2 feet high. The Honda engine runs like a champ no questions asked. I love the hell out of it and it ranks right up there with the Xero Pure in efficiency and ability to do its work. Moving a ladder always felt so slow to me, and there is always a risk of falling off of one, regardless of experience and age, just based simply on the frequency you go up and down one.

Curious as to what region people are in.

Pacific Northwest

we use the Gutter Pro Vac!! and absolutely love it. its less expensive than SkyVac but i feel it has more power.

We have a vac too and use it almost every job.

It’s good on customers you do regularly but it can be really annoying to use on new customers that haven’t had their gutters cleaned in forever. I can’t tell you how many times we still have to get a ladder and do something by hand. I mean, you’ll usually get the job done but slower and you’ll have to clean the vac out because it will be clogged often.

Sky vac elite is garbage. I paid 4500 for it and it is a joke. Doesnt work and way too inefficient to use. The salesman over here in USA is not helpful and tried to sell me the moon. Needing a large generator with short hose and cord is a show stopper. I do wonder if the interceptor might solve most of this. But do not buy what i did

We just recently dropped all gutter vac related products from our store. 4 out of 5 people who bought one hated it. I can see where they would be great in a lot of areas though. They will likely get better with time.

This exact scenario applied to me yesterday. These two lengths are only about 20’ long but they hadn’t been cleaned in years. The Interceptor did get clogged a few times but the height was so low pulling the pole down and clearing the tip wasn’t an issue. Took me about 45 minutes to do both sides and charged $150. The canister was literally filled to the top when I emptied it. I probably could have done it in less time by hand especially considering the low height and walkable roof, but I hate mucked up clothes and that dark brown mulch in gutters stains my uniforms badly, so the vac was a good option for me. On a side note I did a gutter job right before this that was 2 story house and all pine needles that took about an hour as well and I charged $250.

Yeah that’s what I’m talking about. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea because it can be slower but if you want to lay off climbing ladders and walking on roofs then it does the trick.

We also get a lot of referrals because other companies know we have the vac and they direct leads to us

End of season, and I just wanted to touch base on how the SkyVac system went since I bought it mid-summer.

It was $7000. HUGE chunk of change. I had faith though after doing all my research as the previous versions were electric and you had to buy an external generator just to power it. I bought the gas powered interceptor model.

The engine is fantastic. first or second pull start every time. The suction is amazing, but it does have its limitations, but that’s based on the debris, not the vacuum itself. Clumpy, thick, wet, matted up leaves will clog the nozzle fast, but you have to learn to attack debris from the side, not from the top down dipping into the gutter. Pine needles also suck, no pun intended, especially if they’re wet and clumpy.

It takes me about 5-6 minutes to set it up and same to break it down. I usually have about 10 minutes or so of downtime each job due to emptying the drum, or running water through the system to give it a rinse to increase its efficiency. It also takes a minute or two to drop the hose and wheel the system to the next area you’re working in, then reattach the hose to the unit and get back to work.

I’m a one-man show at the moment, and my tallest ladder is 28’. I don’t want to go more than that, and I don’t even want to use ladders at all, really. Last year I turned down quite a few gutter jobs because I couldn’t reach them. Not the case this year. I had a handful of jobs that were 40’+ feet this year, and they were not an issue.

The unit paid for itself this year easily, and I even unfortunately have left money on the table because I could not get it all done. I had 4-5 gutter calls come in just 2 days ago. I will not go up and chisel ice blocks out of gutters. It’s not worth it to me. If we get a couple of warm days where the gutters thaw out over the next couple of weeks, I will go back and try to get as many of the remaining jobs done that I can.

Most of my jobs average about $250, and I have a $150 minimum. I had quite a few $350+ jobs this year. the last day I worked before the snow hit, I had 4 jobs…$200, $275, $300, and $250. I started at about 730-8:00am, after it had warmed up just a hair. I was done for the day at 2:30, and had about an hour of driving to/from jobs, not counting time to first job and time to get home from last job.

If you can market yourself as this being a SAFE method to clean gutters, you will win a lot of favor with clients. They like hearing no ladders are on their house, no customers are walking their roofline, gutter edges are not being crinkled by guys not using standoffs.

I know it’s a huge price, but I feel it was definitely worth it.

Here’s a handful of pics I took from the first week or so using it: Imgur: The magic of the Internet


On the price issue looks like GVS is better than Skyvac.

Here is an alternative to gutter vac we used this year. This viper tool can be used on the end of your wfp and its $150 just attach a blower to it. Same with the vac if the gutters are really bad its easier to just use a ladder. Also get a $500 back pack blower. You’ll need the extra power and it will be wayy easier to operate and the backpack blower makes clean up a breeze. But honestly if you don’t do ladders you shouldn’t be in business for gutter cleaning. Sometimes you have to climb up there especially for clogged down spouts but we just started using this and it made a few jobs easier this year

I bought a SkyVac 85 Elite in the spring of 2021 and a 6.5 kW (6,500 watts) generator and 100’ extension cord (10-guage, 240V, 30A, 3-wire). I spent a touch under $6K, which includes the camera and monitor and the scissor ramps. I wish I had bought it sooner.

The generator weighs about 207 lbs., fully fueled. We assumed we would be unloading it at job sites, hence the ramps. Once we got it in the van we decided it looked fine where it was and it has stayed there.

It has produced our best $PMH, even better than pressure washing and WFP. We are averaging $300 per job and have a minimum service charge of $160. The average cost per job will probably go up by the end of the season. The GC service has also provided upsells for WC and PW jobs.

I did not advertise gutter cleaning (GC) my first 5 years and I only did GC when specifically asked as an additional service when I was doing WC or PW work. Doing ladder work on a hillside community with soft soils is time consuming and unnecessary risk.

We are located in Homer, Alaska and the vast majority of our gutter gunk is from spruce and birch trees. The gunk is always moist, so using a blower would be a total waste of time. Clogging can be a concern with really wet gunk but we have been learning to take smaller amounts out and to wait for dryer days.

I bought a snake that runs off a cordless drill for unclogging downspouts. I also have a jetter nozzle on order. This should be a good piece of equipment for getting under gutter guards that are very hard and time consuming to remove.

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This gutter gunk is composed of asphalt grits, pine needles and the airborne soil has a high clay content. This makes for a sticky and gooey substance that absolutely can not be removed with blowers. A blower that could move this type of gunk would make a big mess that would be very time consuming to clean up.

Eventually I will post pictures of our other most common gunk, which is from birch leaves and birch twigs. The clayish soils mixed with that type of gunk is also not practical for removal with a blower and is time consuming for removal by hand.

The ability to work around obstacles is another benefit of gutter vacuums, as shown by the property owner’s trailer which is parked under these gutters. My son did three jobs this afternoon, grossing $500 in less than 4 hours, which includes drive time and chatting with owners.

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I have wanted to get one of these but was told by several guys that it does not work well with pine needles…Vegas has lots of pine needles, 90% of my gutter cleaning is pine needles. How doe sit work for you in those situations?