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It begins over Memorial Weekend

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It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by milspec6 on Fri May 27, 2016 8:05 pm

Saturday will be my final day working for the power plant. After 11 years of working 60+ hours per week, I will finally be done with waking at 4 am after only 3-4 hours of sleep and fighting through some very long days. I plan on taking a full week to just de-clutter the house / garage and do some maintenance so that I can start out fresh on my cleaning full-time life.

Not going to lie, still feel a little worried about what the future will bring once the savings starts to dwindle, but then again I have been broke before. My commercial anchors have been expanded and I have some meetings set-up with some large chain stores to discuss contracts that will secure some cash flow in the winter.

I have also had tons of people that are getting laid ask me for a job. So much in fact that it made me wonder if it wouldn't be a bad idea to expand my services to include the exterior of the house as well? Have one truck cleaning inside while the other truck and team cleans the gutters, siding, and windows.

Design the marketing towards a twice per year full house servicing (Spring / Fall) package where it would be cheaper to do all of those things together rather than separately. I think that people who have their gutters cleaned or their carpets cleaned on a regular basis would value both sides of the business and be willing to take advantage of the package.

Still thinking it through for now, but I think the idea has some legs. Especially when I have a lot of skilled craftsman asking for work. Electricians, carpenters, HVAC, construction, machinists.....all looking for work and feeling desperate.
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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by ACE Services on Fri May 27, 2016 8:34 pm

You can do it Rob.
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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by milspec6 on Fri May 27, 2016 8:48 pm

Thanks ACE, I appreciate that.

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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by Freemind1 on Sat May 28, 2016 4:27 am

I think it's a great idea.

I understand your fear. But I believe in you! You got this!

If you got questions about windows (or I can give advice with gutters too), I'm happy to help.

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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by milspec6 on Sat May 28, 2016 6:05 am

I might take you up on that Freemind...will be studying up on those things this weekend.
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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by SCCC on Sat May 28, 2016 7:38 am

You should rig up a truck for out side, the gutters could be done with a truck mount, rig up a whole house vacuum tank maybe two as they have large hepa bags you can buy, make a pvc pipe pole with a 90 bend on it and vacuum out the gutters from the ground.
Window washing supplies and your good to go, the tm could do all the pressure washing also.
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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by Freemind1 on Sat May 28, 2016 8:32 am

I sent you a PM Rob.

Gutter vacs are not recommended by very many in the gutter cleaning industry. Besides clog issues, you need to have LIGHT poles, or it will kill your arms and back.

Exactly the reason water fed poles are made of H.M. carbon fiber. Rigid and very light.

PVC or aluminum long enough to reach two or three stories up, is heavy. AND you need a camera of some sort to see if you got it all. Then you still need to get up there to wash out the gutter and snake down spouts if necessary.

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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by milspec6 on Sat May 28, 2016 9:18 am

That company that I sent you Freemind uses carbon fiber and cameras, but I do have some concerns over the spouts. I really would like to avoid ladders completely out of efficiency more than anything else since gutter cleaning isn't a big mark up to begin with.

That was actually part of my plan Tom, I was going to use a 55 gallon drum to act as a large filter between the TM and gutters....along with a dust downer in the vac line.

Just not sure if it is really a good method for cleaning like Freemind pointed out.
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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by Freemind1 on Sat May 28, 2016 10:04 am

I don't know what guys around you charge, but most I have talked to start at 1.00 a foot, and go as high as 3 per foot, depending on conditions.

They regularly talk about 200 bucks an hour, which is double my prices on windows. And gutters are a lot faster.

I'm planning on offering gutters this fall. I have the ladder and poles, 5 gallon bucket. All I need is a few gutter spoons and a good brass spray nozzle for the hose.

Everyone seems to mirror the response of every other gutter guy. Manual is the only way to clean gutters. Not that a vac can't work, but your not going to avoid the ladder anyway. You still have to get up there.

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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by milspec6 on Sat May 28, 2016 10:24 am

By hand makes the most sense, but I think that is based more on vision then anything else. If you can't see it, you can't clean it out.

I think the camera makes it possible to work form the ground for 90% of it.

Prices around here are 75 cents to a buck a foot for single story homes.....double that for 2-story. I guess you could clean quick enough to reach that $200 threshold, but not if you have to remove spouts to clear plugs.

I will probably add it as well, but it might be something that I play around with until the Fall.
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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by Freemind1 on Sat May 28, 2016 1:59 pm

The guys I talked to did not remove spouts to clear plugs.

They either used a plumbers snake or a hose with the brass spray nozzle or a spring wrapped soft clear tube with a valve on it.

Here is a link for a downspout snake I was told was the "shizzle" for clearing spouts.
http://windows101.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=66&products_id=1011

Edit to add:
The pricing seems decent. And where others have told me they are priced at.

Weeds growing from the gutters adds more to the price. Full of shingle gravel adds more. You get what I mean. Those that clean every year, get the best rates. Those that don't, pay for the extra work.

If you buy a vac or the pole and camera, let me know later what you think. I won't personally spend the money, since everyone else seems to be telling me it's a poor investment that doesn't work well enough.

Their explanation was always about poor performance. Never about not being able to see what's going on. There are ways to get a view from the ground. Be it drone, or a go pro on a pole.

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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by milspec6 on Sat May 28, 2016 2:56 pm

Good advice thanks.

I can see how the vacuum systems would deliver poor performance over the years as they were just shop vacs with maybe 115 cfm stretched out to 20-30 feet using plastic tubes. I think Rigid was one of the first to market them.

The company that I am considering has never been outside of the UK and there poles are over 2 inches wide and I would be running them via my truckmount at 450 cfm.

I can suck up chunks of wood and terry towels from 600 feet out and still make it to the waste tank, so I would think that at 40 feet, I could suck the crap out of a gutter.....no actual experience though to back it up.

Too bad we don't have any members in the UK that could answer that question. I find it very interesting, but I am not willing throw down cash right now without more information.

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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by dp1 on Sat May 28, 2016 9:59 pm

If there is someone who can do it, it's you ! You have mad people skills, it seems like pretty impossible to make you upset, which is a huge plus in this industry.
Think about those customers that you couldn't accommodate due to your regular work schedule, guess what, you can do those jobs now, if there are 5 of those customers per week and average $ 200 / customers, that's already $ 1000 / week, $ 52 k per year, not to mention some additional services you can offer and accommodate.
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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by ACE Services on Sun May 29, 2016 5:27 am

Ok guys.
Now you've got me thinking.
If you could make a tank that could be opened on one side for cleaning. As Rob said your not pulling 200 ft of vac hose.Now if you tied it together with a #4 blower 18 hp motor 3 in line from blower to tank and 2.5 too the gutter. You can get light weight hose because you are not pulling a full load on the vacuum you need air flow and a larger hose to pick up the debris. Around here pine straw is a problem in gutters.
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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by milspec6 on Sun May 29, 2016 11:28 am

Sounds like it should really work without any crazy engineering. Might be the perfect add-on for a carpet cleaner with enough space in the truck for the holding tank.

It would also give new life to those used machines out there that were just too worn for carpets, but ideal for this kind of thing.

It seems logical to me.
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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by ACpower1 on Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:10 pm

if you had a pole with a strap that holds your vac line and makes a U shape to get into gutters that should work pretty well, wonder if you could also blast with water to help lift it all out? that might splatter too much
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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by milspec6 on Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:43 pm

Pressurized water in a gutter often lifts up the shingles and forces water in places that it shouldn't be. I learned that the hard way on my first house. It molded the roof sheathing pretty quick.
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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

Post by ACE Services on Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:30 pm

I agree Rob, ccleaning the debris then rinse with low pressure but with high volume like a water hose.
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Re: It begins over Memorial Weekend

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