Roof Washing and Clogged Gutters...What do you do?

I’m in Southern California and due to lack of rain it is common for home owners in my area not to have their gutters cleaned until they’re completely clogged and spilling over the side.

I’m just getting into roof washing and this is kind of bugging me. What do you do if all your mix gets stuck in the gutter and won’t drain without a gutter cleaning?

Obviously the ideal thing to do would be to charge for a gutter cleaning as well, but being that it’s spring time I don’t think people are really going to go for it. Plus on a side note, I’m seriously considering switching our companies main focus from window and gutter cleaning to roof/ house washing considering the difference in average hourly rate. It just doesn’t make much sense to me financially to spend an hour washing a 2500 sq. ft. house for $250-300, and then spend 2-3 hours cleaning the gutters for close to the same price. Unless there’s not enough roof/ house washing to fill our schedule but I seriously doubt that, I’ve NEVER seen a roof washing truck driving around my area.

Anyways, thoughts?

Add it into terms and conditions that gutters must be relatively clean to perform roof cleaning. And then sub out the gutter cleaning of you don’t want to do it yourself.


Does it really matter that the gutters are clogged. Couldn’t you just water everything down or even spray something that revitalizes the ground

clean them

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There’s other issues in SoCal you would want to consider as well regarding house washing/ roof cleaning

Runoff etc also not having the mold it’s not going to be as big as you may think

SoCal expat here

I’ve never have been asked if I can Wash a roof or if I knew anyone that did . I don’t think there a market for it here .

i could be wrong

Need to be close to beach hard part is it’s just unsightly on tile roofs it’s not eating anything like a shingle.

Also takes about 15 years for anything to happen so it’s real sticky because its mold mixed with pollution soot and wildfire soot

Thanks for the replies guys (hehe I made a rhyme). I Like the idea of including it in my terms and conditions, mandatory $1.50-2.00 per ft cleaned. And I’ve been cleaning gutters for a few years, so no need to sub it out. I was just thinking that a gutter job in the middle of a bunch of roof cleaning would slow me down but I guess I can only hope for that problem and play it by ear.

And as far as there being a market for roof cleaning, I see algae growing tile roofs all the time. Mostly orange algae on barrel tile or cement tiles. A few years ago when I was less concerned with safety and doing things properly I used to just climb up on the roof and blast it with a wand. I don’t do that anymore, but my point is that algae is definitely an issue here. Even if it’s just 1 side of the house. I’ve also noticed algae tends to be neighborhood specific, meaning if one house has it chances are the rest of the block has it too. I believe the reason the market is so small in So Cal do to the customers lack of information. I’m going to really focus on educating my potential customers about the dangers of algae and how it does more damage than just “looking bad”. I’m 100% thats all my area needs is some education. If you pay a million plus for your home and fail to maintain it chances are it’s not because you don’t have the money, but because you weren’t aware of the need.

Cleaned quite a few roofs in Carlsbad there’s no damage being done to tile it’s strictly cosmetic. There is a market for it but it’s so unknown it will take some time

@brian_c What part of so cal did you live in? I’m in Encinitas specifically. did you run into any other issues besides runoff? anything special you do for soot?

I have a vacuum that handles up to 42 gallons a minute and I’m pretty familiar with having to divert/ collect water so I think I’ll be able to handle that. I was actually considering using that as a selling point, I wouldn’t be surprised if most just let the water run out into the street.

any insights on the local market would be greatly appreciated.

Bc window cleaning got smarty left SoCal 2.5 years ago
The issues you run into there are most houses don’t have rain gutters so you got to be careful with the plants really have to be careful of anything going down storm drains. A roof mix will destroy your vacuum pretty fast,

The algae is old since it takes years to grow so it’s very sticky combined with all the fallout from fires and pollution we were using a 50-50 60/ 40 mix bleach to water to get anything to happen. Tile also uses more mix since it runoffs so much faster, your overhead is much higher

Good to know. Thanks for the heads up, I will definitely keep this in mind when I get started. It looks like I’m going to have to invest in some tarps.

Roof cleaning can be a very good service. You need to be ready to educate the home owners to the service and the benefits of. In my location when I started no one had ever heard of roof cleaning. We now have a very successful roof cleaning service. We specialize in cleaning wood-cedar shakes roofs. Sounds like a good location to start in and build your branding before others move in.

Do the roof, then the gutters overflow which gets on the house and windows…talk about an upseller’s dream! Roof job leads to gutter cleaning, house wash, and window cleaning. If you have or had young kids, it’s like a cleaning service version of the children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (must have read that book 1000 times or more).

While you could be making a lot doing only roof washing, is there enough work to keep it going forever? Window and gutter cleaning needs to happen on a regular basis. Cleaning a roof is more of a one-and-done type of job. If you pigeon-hole yourself as a roof washer it can be bad if the jobs dry up.

Also, consider the travel distance and time. Roof jobs will probably spread out a lot more. You could be driving a lot which is going to eat into those higher profits.