A lot of property managers ask us to schedule cleaning of gutters at their stratas ‘after all the leaves have fallen’. While this is an understandable request (logic dictates it should minimize risk of re-plugging and reclogging gutters), actually, this request is often an impossible one.
Trees lose their leaves at different times.
Oak trees hang on for a long time, all other deciduous trees are impacted by direct environmental factors, evergreen shed their needles slowly year round)
When it can be considered to have happened may be different for every neighborhood around the GVRD.
Trees on a street in kitsilano will at a different rate than those in Burnaby, clusters may lose their leaves more slowly than solo standing trees, trees in the shade faster than those on the sunny side of the buildings, etc.
By the time that ALL the leaves have fallen, any standing water in your gutter system may be frozen, preventing gutters from being cleaned.
In late December or January, all the leaves may have fallen off finally, but now are embedded in ice in the gutter trough.
Supply and Demand
If several hundred stratas all wait, then demand to be cleaned at the same time, a lot of frustrated stratas around going to be waiting in line to get their gutter cleaning done. Those stratas that have scheduled their cleaning in advance will get theirs done first. If you want the exactly same thing as everyone else, at the same time as everyone else, how likely are you to get it without standing in line? With demand that suddenly high, there is a strain on supply.
So how do we address this?
We all want the same thing, after all: happy tenants, proper functioning of gutter systems, so more serious problems don’t develop due to malfunction, the fewest headaches possible dealing with this situation.
At ServiceMaster, we’ve approached the challenge a few different ways, and so far here’s what we’ve found works:
Early Season Cleaners
Stratas with few trees around them can be serviced early. And the ‘unwritten rule’ in our office has been: in exchange for easing the strain on the schedule by letting us do your strata’s gutter cleaning early, if there are problem areas later in the fall we’ll come back free of charge and deal with it. We’re happy to discuss this and confirm it on a case by case basis.
If you only have a minimal amount of trees around your strata, it is a good idea to get the gutter cleaning done early. That way you can be sure the system is functioning before the heavy rain hits. Any strata we do early, we are good about going back at no extra charge to address any issues from leaves falling after the service. You’re doing everyone a favour, we appreciate the easing up on our schedule, so we’ll take care of it.
If your strata is surrounded by mostly coniferous (evergreen) trees, get your gutters cleaned thoroughly in the early fall season. These trees shed their needles year round. There will be needles in the gutters in the early fall. If you’re forced to wait, the problem will only be worse after heavy rain. So be an “Early Season Cleaner” – let us service the system in October, and then if it needs a little extra later in the fall, call us and we’ll take care of it.
Gutter Cleaning Programs
This is like insurance. We offer a ‘program care’ gutter cleaning service which for only a small amount more includes 3 or more spot cleans at your stratas to address new issues that arise after a cleaning. Since we have introduced this offering, it has met with tremendous success for stratas.
If you get a complete gutter cleaning service done, and a month later there is a new issue, this does not mean that the job wasn’t done properly. Rain carrying debris of the roof, wind, newly fallen leaves; any of these things can cause new issues quickly. With the program care we’ll come back and spot clean at no extra charge.
So, with a program, you don’t need to worry that every leaf around the strata has fallen. If something comes up, we’ll deal with it. No hassle, no problem, and promptly – at any time for a full year after the initial cleaning. Your minor repairs are covered as well. You can eliminate the guess work and just rest assured the gutter system will be looked after.
Customers who have an Annual Service Agreement or Annual Project Agreement for their gutter cleaning services go into the schedule first. They’ve agreed to get their cleaning done at the same price as last year, and we book them in the priorty time slots before everyone else thinks to call and get their work scheduled. Latecomers end up going to the back of the line due to necessity: supply and demand. When every gutter cleaning company is the GVRD is swamped, calling up and asking for the work to be done tomorrow really isn’t realistic. We take care of those customers as best we can. However, if you want to jump to the head of the line, get platinum quality service, and have peace of mind, the best gutter cleaning service in the city would come from having a gutter program on an annual service agreement.
In summary: No One Knows The Date That All The Leaves Will Have Fallen. It doesn’t really exist. If it did, I’d point to it on the calendar and not even think about gutters unitl the day before. But let’s be honest: this is a best guess scenario. Often times, freezing water standing in the gutters isn’t taken into consideration for that guess. So working with us to provide the best service possible for your stratas can be a strategic game plan, rather than a guessing game. We invite you to strategize with us, and to make use of the tools we offer while striving to give you the best service possible.