Do You Tip Gutter Cleaners - and How Much

Written by Jim Belt in How Much To Tip

Your gutters are choked with leaves and other debris. Rainwater no longer flows freely through your gutters. Grass is sprouting in your drains. You are long overdue for fall or spring cleaning, so you call your local gutter cleaner. Now, you are wondering, do you add a tip for their service?

Gutter cleaners generally do not receive tips. Falling within the category of home improvement and repair, gutter cleaners are usually paid by the hour. However, depending on the difficulty of the task or the quality of the cleaning, you may consider tipping your gutter cleaner from between $5-20.

Thoughts to consider about when and why you might tip your gutter cleaner are included below. For more information about gutter cleaners, the services they perform, and the investment value to your home; read on.

Tipping Customs

Tipping not customary $ 5 - $ 20

How Much to Tip a Gutter Cleaner?

While a gutter cleaner is not expecting a tip, recognition of a quality job is appreciated by anyone. Depending upon the quality of the service and the difficulty of the job, a tip may be warranted. Most people seem to tip $5 for each crew member or $20 for a cleaner working alone.

Instead of a financial tip or in addition to one, other generosities can be extended to your gutter cleaners.

On a hot day, a refreshing glass of iced tea is a welcome respite for a hard worker. Cool fall days, a cup of hot coffee or tea would show your appreciation for the work being accomplished. On a long workday, a lunch or snack can reinvigorate and be a meaningful way to thank a worker.

Since cleaning your gutters can save you money in the long run, tipping can be a good investment for your home and in developing your relationship with your contractor.

What Gutter Cleaners Think About Tips

Gutter cleaners arrive on the job not expecting tips, nor is it an industry standard or built into their pricing. Therefore, you do not need to tip your gutter cleaner. However, gutter cleaners show up to your house not knowing the challenges that they may encounter:

  • Job complexity
  • Clutter
  • Yard maintenance
  • Tipping

Job Complexity

The height of a house adds to the complexity of the job. A two- or three- story home necessitates ladders that must extend higher poses more risk for the gutter cleaner. Roofs with steep pitches also have potential hazards for the gutter cleaner.

Clutter in the Yard

Some houses have cluttered yards. Items that might appear innocuous in yards include toys left strewn by children or dogs. These objects can be trip hazards or cause a ladder to lose stability. Decorations on lawns, location of bushes, and other obstacles can be dangerous to gutter cleaners.

Yard Maintenance

Poorly maintained yards can present issues for a gutter cleaner. If bushes have not been trimmed, locating a safe site for a ladder can be a challenge. Tree branches overhanging a roof can make it difficult to clean a gutter. These obstacles can prevent a gutter cleaner from performing a quality job.

What Gutter Cleaners Earn

Nationally, the average hourly rate for gutter cleaners is $12.14. It is a physically demanding job. Some expectations employers have for gutter cleaners include:

  • Lift 50+ pounds
  • Climb up and down ladders
  • Move ladders frequently
  • Ascend to heights of a minimum of 16’ and up to 32’
  • Carry heavy equipment up and down the ladders

To meet some of these physical requirements and safely perform their roles, gutter cleaners need to be surefooted. Additionally, gutter cleaners need to plan their job to minimize the number of times they climb up and down the ladder. Due to the physicality of the job, an injured gutter cleaner would not be able to work.

Pricing for the average gutter cleaning job ranges from $140 to $170. Costs are typically calculated based on the length of your home’s gutter system. However, the price will change depending upon the height of the house, the pitch of the roof, the landscaping around the house, and the condition of the gutters.

Other Considerations

Keeping leaves and debris from clogging your gutters can prevent other home repair issues and concerns. A quality cleaning job adds value to your home. Thoughts to consider include:

  • Purpose of gutters
  • Identifying gutter issues
  • Developing relationships

Purpose of Gutters

Gutters are intended to direct water away from your house. Clogged gutters do not allow the water to flow correctly. Gutters that are filled with debris and leaves can block the flow of water. This can lead to issues with leaking roof, damage to your foundation, or other rot in your home.

Identifying Gutter Issues

An effective gutter cleaner can reduce your costs of home maintenance. A knowledgeable gutter cleaner will identify potential issues with gutter structure. Repairing sagging and leaking gutters before they cause water to overflow can save you time and money.

Developing Relationships

Since it is a task that should be done twice a year, developing a good relationship with home maintenance workers is beneficial for all. A gutter cleaner that knows you and your home can be proactive in identifying and mitigating gutter issues.

When Not to Tip Gutter Cleaners

Overall, the majority of home repair workers are diligent as are most gutter cleaners. However, if you encounter an ineffective or inadequate gutter cleaner, you do not need to tip them. Some situations that might arise are:

  • Expectations were not met
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Condition of your home

Expectations Were Not Met

Gutter cleaners do not need to be tipped if they did not perform all the expectations of the contract. Be sure to know the details of the services that you are paying for. For example, if the debris should be bagged and removed, check that all steps are completed.

Not showing up on the day the work was to commence, is another consideration of when not to tip a worker. Late workers or workers not ready to start work when they arrive have not earned a gratuity.

Inappropriate Behavior

If the contractor has been disrespectful, they have not earned a tip. Rude or impolite comments or behavior should not be rewarded with additional compensation. While everyone has an off day, contractors need to be professional.

Condition of Your Home

Gutter cleaners who leave your home and yard in disrepair have not earned a tip. Nor should they be tipped if they damaged your home with their equipment. Inadvertently causing damage and offering compensation to you for that damage, the contractor could still be compensated.

General Tips on Tipping

Tips are usually given in recognition of service that has been well performed. There are no set rules for how much to tip or for what services you must tip. While there are guidelines that offer suggestions, it is up to each person to judge the value of the work received.

However, building a relationship with your home repair and improvement workers by tipping can be an invaluable investment. Since your gutters should be cleaned twice a year, working with the same cleaners each year can build value in your home.

In Summary

Home repairs and owning a home can be costly. However, you can reduce your costs by preventive maintenance. Developing relationships with contractors can also benefit you as a homeowner and the contractor. One way to enhance your connection with home maintenance workers is to recognize their work quality and challenges.

Tipping is one means to show how you value your contractors. Remember tips can be monetary or acts of generosity. Either or both are wonderful ways to show your appreciation for a job well-done.


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