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Don’t let a gutter cleaner clean you out

Fall brings colder temperatures and a chance for homeowners to get their home prepared for winter. So, if you think a few leaves and twigs in your gutters are harmless, think again. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, regular gutter cleaning can be very important to avoid major and expensive home repairs. Your Better Business Bureau offers tips to find a trustworthy gutter cleaner.

Gutters perform one function around your house, controlling the water around your home. If debris keeps gutters from doing their job, you can wind up with serious problems. Professionals say gutters should usually be cleaned twice a year — spring and fall — to avoid problems like water damage, ice dams or pest problems.

Your BBB recommends a few tips when selecting a gutter cleaning company:

• Consider the gutter cleaners’ reputation and years of service.

• Shop around and get several written quotes. Don’t settle for the lowest bid.

• Check with family and friends. If they’re happy with a company they used, most likely you’ll be too.

• Ask gutter cleaning companies for references and call them.

• Be wary of those going door-to-door in your neighborhood. Do your homework before hiring them on the spot.

• Ask if the gutter cleaning company belongs to any professional organizations like the National Rain Gutter Contractors Association.

• Don’t pay cash. Pay by check or credit card. Never pay upfront. A legitimate, trustworthy company won’t do business that way.

• Make sure the company is licensed, bonded and insured as appropriate.

• Don’t be afraid to inquire about something if you don’t understand.

• Get a written contract. Don’t sign anything until all blanks are completed.

Remember, your safety is most important. If you are not comfortable with heights or don’t use ladders regularly, cleaning gutters may not be a job for you. Some, roofing companies can not only inspect and repair your roof, but they can also clean out your gutters. Other industries that may offer the service include window cleaners, lawn services, pressure washers, etc. In addition, you may consider installing gutter guards.

If you have any questions regarding gutter cleaning companies, get help from your BBB, such as a list of BBB Accredited companies in the industry and reviews on ones you’re considering. Visit or call 937-222-5825 or 800-776-5301.

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