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How We Saved Our Client 20K On Gutter Cleaning Costs


Gutter Cleaning

Through our innovative Gutter Cleaning solutions, we not only saved this client 20K but were able to complete the project in just five days.

The client on this project was a property management company based in the Midlands. The company needed help with access to several of its buildings as they needed to carry out gutter maintenance works on the properties. A significant amount of debris had built up in the system and so extensive cleaning was required in order to get the gutters back in good condition.

The Project

The company originally asked Spectrum to quote for installing fixed anchor points for abseiling. When we found out these anchor points were required for gutter cleaning, we offered the client an innovative solution to their access problem that would save them time and money. This involved using our own patented equipment along with techniques specially developed by Spectrum. Altogether, the project was scheduled to last five days.

The Site

The main focus of the project was gutter cleaning and unblocking. We had previously cleaned the gutters on the property three years earlier. At that time, they were full of debris with extensive plant growth and organic matter blocking many sections of the guttering system. When we first cleaned the gutters on the property, other access methods were not available to us and, due to the amount of plant growth present on the site, no one would have considered alternative cleaning or access techniques.

The Logistics

The main logistical challenge Spectrum operatives faced on the Northampton project was accessing the gutters. Due to the height of the blocks, cleaning the gutters with a gutter pole system would have been very difficult, and with a conventional gutter vac and pole setup, it would have been impossible. This is because the systems would have been difficult to control and also because suction would have been lost the higher up the building we went. This is one of the main challenges of cleaning gutters with vacuum pole systems.

Another issue was the level of debris in the gutters. The pipes were so heavily blocked that most conventional systems would not have been able to cope and would have failed as soon as work began. As gutter vac and vacuum pole systems were not practical on this project, our operatives had to find another way to access and clean these hard-to-reach gutters.

In the past, our teams would have tackled a project like this by bringing a portable A-Frame anchor to the site. This anchor can be set up quickly and easily and allows our abseiling team to work safely via rope access. Once the anchor points are in place, abseilers can descend down the building and clear blockages from the gutters. This approach is a good option on this type of project as it saves the client a significant amount on access costs and the setup of permanent anchors. It also helps to complete a project quickly and efficiently.

On this project however, our operatives used another approach. At the beginning of 2020, our innovative team was able to modify our gutter vacuum pole using 3D printed parts. This modified system allowed operatives to jet the downpipe entry while using a vacuum at the same time - this enabled them to clear blockages quickly and thoroughly.

The system our operatives designed allowed the work to be carried out even more quickly and saved the client a considerable amount of money on access costs. It also allowed operatives to work safely and efficiently at all times.

Operatives who worked on the Northampton gutter cleaning project had harness training and had experience working at height. Operatives had also taken part in our in-house training on water tests and gutter cleaning maintenance.  While working on the roof, the team had to set up a safe work restraint while clipped into the fall restrain system on the roof.

Innovative Problem Solving 

In order to complete the Northampton gutter cleaning project on time and on budget, our team used an unconventional solution to the access issues found on the site. The equipment our team used was designed and patented by Spectrum. The connectors in the system allowed operatives to use the gutter vac pole upside down. This meant operatives were able to reach down to the gutters from roof level rather than reach up to the gutters from the ground.

As we were working from the roof down, our gutter vac had strong suction throughout. This meant we were able to effectively clean all of the gutters on the building, even those that were almost completely blocked with debris.

When working on the gutters at the Northampton site, we used a wireless camera to give us a close-up view of the gutters and downpipe. This allowed our operatives to check that the gutters and pipes were all completely clear.

Once the gutters had been thoroughly cleaned using our innovative systems, we carried out water tests on the downpipes. This is a very important part of the gutter cleaning process and is one not normally included by other contractors.

Water tests allow us to check that downpipes are completely clear of debris. Over the years, we’ve worked on a large number of gutter cleaning projects and so are well aware of just how crucial this step is. And, in fact, after carrying out water tests along the blocks, we found six separate blockages in six downpipes.

At first glance, these blockages do not seem obvious on the camera system. However, when you carry out the water tests, you can see where water is not flowing down the downpipes as it should be. Once identified, these blockages were cleared using drain jetting. The system was then completely clear of debris and working exactly how it should.

Providing Efficient Results

Thanks to our innovative approach and experienced team, we were able to clean the gutters on this project quickly and effectively without the installation of fixed anchor points. This saved the client in excess of £20,000 plus VAT and meant that the project could be completed within just five days.

Our thorough approach meant that, on completion of the clean, the client could be confident that all debris have been removed and all blockages cleared. The extra step we took in carrying out water tests further proved to the client that the job had been completed to a high standard.

Putting Our Customers First

“It’s hard to imagine another company going out of their way as much as Spectrum did to save the client over £20,000. Installing a permanent anchor system would have been a bigger sale for us, which is why we are proud to say we put our customer’s interest first by offering them a better solution that would have saved them a small fortune and years’ worth of savings on the maintenance and testing of the system.” 
-Lucian Ivan (Spectrum Managing Director)

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