Being Prepared for Bushfires in Townsville

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Being Prepared for Bushfires in Townsville

With the weather warming up and the dry, windy conditions continuing in Townsville, with little chance of rain, it is important that we’re aware of the heightened risk of fires breaking out. There are a few things you can do to protect your home from fire.

  • Clean up and dispose of any garden waste such as leaf litter, dried palm fronds and lawn clippings from around your home and keep your lawn mowed short.
  • Clear your gutters, roof and downpipes of leaves and other debris that could easily catch fire.
  • Trim any trees or shrubs that are close to your home.
  • Remove flammable material from around your house, such as doormats, furniture, toys and firewood.
  • Consider displaying a Stable Water Supply (SWS) sign outside your home if you have a pool, dam or water tank on your property. This helps firefighters identify available water sources to use to combat fires.
  • Check that your home and contents insurance is up to date and discuss your Bushfire Survival Plan with your family and neighbours.
  • Seek out information. Do not assume that you will receive a warning.
    • Be aware of the Fire Danger Rating in your area and stay up-to-date by regularly checking your state department’s website and social media pages.

The following links provide useful information in regards to preparing your Bushfire Survival Plan and updates on bushfires in Queensland.

If you require assistance preparing your home for bushfire season feel free to give Gutter-Vac Townsville a call on 0412 309 379 or email us at for a free quote. We can remove any leaf litter and debris from your roof, gutters and downpipes and dispose of all the mess for you.

Tank Cleaning in Townsville

Did you know Gutter-Vac Townsville also does tank cleaning? We know that many Australians like to use tank water as it can be more economical than relying on town water. However, for many rural areas it is their only source of water, or at least, drinkable water.

Having your water tank cleaned on a regular basis (every four or five years) is important for a couple of reasons. A build-up of sludge and grime in your tank can result in rusting. This can be costly because your tank will either need to be repaired or replaced. More, importantly however, is the risk of your water becoming contaminated and unsafe to drink. If this occurs, then your tank will need cleaning immediately.

It is important to remember that the state of your water tank and the quality of your water is directly related to how clean and well-maintained your gutters are. If your gutters contain any pollutants such as dirt, rubbish, insects, moss, animal droppings or even dead animals, then those things can potentially flow into your tank and contaminate your water. Even if these things don’t end up in your tank, any water flowing over them and into it will be contaminated. Therefore, we recommend that you have your gutters cleaned at the same time as your tank. This will ensure that your water is as clean as possible.

Our trained and qualified technicians can safely and efficiently remove any sludge, sediment and other pollutants from the bottom of your tank using our state-of-the-art vacuum machine. We can even clean your tank while it’s full so as not to waste water; or, if the water is contaminated, we can empty the tank first. Our technique requires no chemicals, so your water will be left clean and safe to use. We also dispose of all the mess for you.

So, if you have a water tank and know that your gutters are full, or you’re concerned that your water isn’t as clean as it should be, give Gutter-Vac Townsville a call. We’ll be happy to provide a free quote and answer any questions you may have.

Why Wait until Storm Season? Have your Gutters Cleaned Now!

Are your gutters ready for storm season? Every year Gutter-Vac Townsville receives an influx of calls during storm season from people needing their gutters cleaned. Often this is because, after the first big downpour they realise that their gutters and drainage systems aren’t flowing as they should and are over flowing. This is a problem because over flowing gutters can lead to water leaking into your ceiling cavity and causing serious damage to your home.

Unfortunately, by the time you realise there is a problem the damage may already be done. The best time to have your gutters cleaned is before storm season starts. This way you avoid the risk of your property being damaged and the longer wait times due to the influx of calls we receive during that time. Also, by ensuring that your gutters, roof, downpipes and other drainage systems, are not blocked with debris or sludge you are able to show your insurance company that you have maintained your gutters if anything did go wrong. Don’t get caught out this storm season!

Feel free to give Gutter-Vac Townsville a call on 0412 309 379 or email us at We’ll be happy to provide you with a free quote and answer any questions you may have.

Roof and Ladder Safety while Cleaning Gutters in Townsville

We all know that climbing ladders and getting up on the roof of your house can be a dangerous task; and recent studies have shown that as we age the risk of a fall, and serious injury significantly increases. So, we thought we’d share a few points and safety concerns to consider before attempting to clean your own gutters by hand. We’ll also take a look at the techniques and safety equipment that Gutter-Vac technicians use to combat these issues.

  1. Access to the gutters
  • How high are the gutters?
    • Will your ladder safely reach the gutters with the base of the ladder a good distance from the wall and the top few rungs over hanging the gutter? If the gutters are too high and the angle of your ladder too steep, then you risk falling backwards.
  • Is the ground below your gutters flat, firm and un-movable for your ladder?
  • Can the top of the ladder safely rest against the gutter?
  • And remember NEVER over-reach.
  1. The pitch and surface of the roof
  • Is your roof too steep or slippery to safely traverse?
  1. Weather conditions
  • Something people often don’t consider is the heat and dehydration factor in summer. Roofs can get extremely hot and you don’t want to risk passing out and falling.

There is a lot to consider when taking on this sort of work, but your safety should come first and foremost. Saving a few dollars by doing it yourself isn’t worth the risk of injury. If it isn’t safe, call in the experts. Our Gutter-Vac Townsville technicians have completed Ballantyne Safety training which is a nationally accredited working at heights training course and use the Ballantyne Safety restraint system. Where necessary, they can also vacuum out your gutters from the ground using our groundworks kit, which completely eliminates the risk.

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Protecting your Solar Panels from Birds and Pests in Townsville

Did you know that our GutterVac team also offer solar panel cleaning and protection? Here in Townsville one of the major problems we come across on people’s roofs are pigeon and myna bird infestations under and around their solar panels. The warm, confined space under your solar panels provides the perfect place for these pesky birds to build their nests, and very quickly a couple of pigeons can turn into a huge, noisy, smelly mess. The mess under the panels can be bad enough, but an infestation often leads to a whole range of other issues as well.

Droppings covering panels

With a lot of pigeons comes a lot of pigeon droppings which can end up covering your solar panels. This can severely impact their efficiency or damage them permanently, costing you quite a lot in the long run.

Droppings and discarded eggs clogging gutters

Droppings and old eggs that have rolled out from under your solar panels can also end up covering your roof, filling your gutters, and clogging your downpipes. Again, this is messy and smelly, but it can also lead to rusting gutters and water leaking into your ceiling cavity.

Health Concerns

On top of the damage pigeons can cause to your property, they also pose a very serious health risk to you and your pets. Pigeons are known to carry lice and diseases which can easily spread to you or your pets if the problem is left untreated.

How our GutterVac team can combat these issues

Here in Townsville our team is equipped to safely and efficiently clean your solar panels and roof. We can also use our high-powered vacuum to remove any droppings and debris from under your solar panels and in your gutters. This mess is completely removed from your property and disposed of for you. Finally, GutterVac Townsville can close any gaps between panels and install solar skirts which will prevent any pests from moving back in.

Often people are completely unaware that they have an infestation under their solar panels until the damage is already quite extreme. So if you have solar panels and know that there is a high number of pigeons or myna birds in your area, or you suspect you may have an infestation, give us a call. We can check your roof for you and provide a quote for any work that we think needs doing.

Business As Usual

A big thank you to all of our very patient customers, caring friends and supportive colleagues.

As some of you may know, June was a pretty aweful month for us at Gutter-Vac Cairns, and not just because it’s end of financial year, but because someone decided that they needed our business more than we did. Literally.

Whilst gutter cleaning and pressure washing in Atherton and Mareeba a few weeks ago, someone has unhooked our Gutter Vac trailer from the back of our 4WD and popped it onto their own car and driven away. Yes our trailer and all of our gutter vacuuming and pressure washing equipment was stolen.

Although this put an immediate stop to our work, we were able to quickly put out our call on social media, Facebook, radio and TV. Before I knew it we were everywhere 🙂

As many would know our Gutter-Vac machinery is purpose built for Gutter-Vac franchisees and not really of a great amount of use to anyone else. In fact I am quite sure that the thieves would have looked into the trailer and wondered what on Earth they were going to do with this booty.

Lucky for us, our wonderfull colleagues down in Townville, Carl and Elizabeth stepped up and loaned us one of their trailers. The joy of being part of a big wonderful family like Gutter-Vac.

Welcome July, a whole new month. We are so happy that all is business as usual. It takes a bit to stop us at Gutter-Vac Cairns. Tim even returned to the Tablelands last week to resume the gutter cleaning and pressure washing that was so rudely interrupted in June.

So in a few weeks Gutter-Vac will be in a new and shiney big red trailer. Give us a toot and a thumbs up for not being beaten by some, not so clever, trailer thieves:)

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No Tiger Stripes from Gutter-Vac Cairns

They say if you do a good job people will tell one person , but if you do a bad job, they tell everyone they know! It’s the sad truth, that we don’t tell people enough when they do a great job, we should make an effort to give praise when due. And I guess the opposite is necessary as well. If the job is very average to bad, people need to know, cause all too often you get caught out. Fortunately Gutter-Vac Cairns do not have to worry about bad wraps…cause we don’t get them 🙂

We recently did a job and recieved an email the same day, and I have asked permission to add this part to my blog…it makes me feel great (although it’s about Tim)

“Please pass on our many thanks to Tim, he did such an exceptional job that the result was higher then our expectations!!  We also really appreciate the extra work done that was only requested on the day. Tim is very professional, and we won’t hesitate in recommending you guys, or contacting you in the future.” Romanne

So recommend away Romanne. Tim and I are very proud of the job we do..every time. Whether it be pressure cleaning, gutter cleaning or cavity cleaning…it’s always a job well done.

Quite often when quoting large complexes  we quietly snicker at the tiger stripes left on the concrete by the previous pressure cleaners. Yep, you know them, we’ve all seen them. Our Gutter-Vac operators will never leave a site, unless our site supervisor, generally Tim has given the job the thumbs up, and as you can see from my blogs, his work ethics are exceptional.

So if you want the job done safely and effectlively and in a timely manner give us a call and our reliable and experienced Gutter-Vac operators will oblige…no tiger stripes from us 🙂

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It’s a Brand New Year

We at Gutter-Vac Cairns are very excited about 2016 and what it may bring for us.

We are off to a great start with helping some clients to rid themselves of their bird problems. We spent quite a bit of time with the Defence Force in 2015 helping to clean up their sites as the myna bird and pigeon population exploded around Cairns.

Pressure washing was high on the agenda for 2015. We found ourselves using our working at heights, and elevated work platform tickets to reach the highest of buildings to clean pigeon poo from gantry cranes, hard to reach building structures, gutters and roofs.

Pressure cleaning is becomming increasingly popular in FNQ at this time of the year. Its a fast and effective way to rid properties of mould, dirt and bird poo. Call us to get a quote to pressure wash driveways, fences, paths, pool areas, buildings, roofs and any of your hard to reach areas. We can pressure wash with or without chemicals and we can also treat the area to slow the regrowth of mould.

Having spoken about our experience with birds and bird poo recently, the exciting news is that Gutter-Vac Cairns are now providing bird proofing. At the end of 2015 we were contacted by clients regarding their ongoing bird issues. We discussed ultrasonic bird deterrents, bird control spikes, electrical bird barriers and decoy hawks. Eventually we settled on the installation of bird netting. Our bird netting is secured using stainless fittings and cables. Give Tim a call on 0428424507 to have a chat about your bird problems and the best way to deal with them.

Gutter vacuuming, cavitiy cleans, pressure washing, bird proofing….. Gutter-Vac Cairns are very excited about the new year. Bring it on 2016.

Why Us and Not You??

Why risk serious injury or worse climbing up onto roofs or ladders when you can employ a fully trained professional to do the job for you. Typically, flooding happens in the middle of a storm or heavy rain, so you might find yourself struggling to clear blocked gutters in the wet and dangerous conditions. We have all the necessary safety equipment and expertise to get the job done safely and quickly.

Cleaning gutters by hand is not always efficient and creates a risk to safety and health. Our specifically designed vacuum machine provides maximum vacuum for both wet and dry areas. We can remove mud, debris, screws, sand and leaf matter. There is not much that we can’t vacuum.

Why take risks yourself. All our safety equipment is registered and tagged and the onsite team all have working at heights certification. OH&S procedures and documentation are carried out at each site and we have public liability insurance to 20 million dollars. So that way, we are all covered.

We can do all this while you are at work. We use no power or water and have no need to enter your home. We will leave no mess that the normal blowers or water blasters may leave, and all vacuumed litter will leave the property with us.

We’ve got you all covered. Commercial, domestic, industrial and body corporates. Homes, units, resorts, workshops. Schools, universities, retirement villages and nursing homes. We will do cattle dips, rain water tanks, insulation removal and dryer vents.

Gutter-Vac will customise your very own maintenance program. Call us now 0424624461

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I’m No Dooms Day Prepper

Yes, time fly’s when you’re having fun! However, are you prepared for what may lay ahead this cyclone season. I know last years cyclone season almost passed unnoticed, and who knows what that may mean to us in 2015. I believe that the Scouts are onto something…`be prepared ‘ is what they say. I don’t know about you guys, but I think that our families, homes and investments are pretty important things to keep safe during cyclone season, and being prepared for the worst is not a bad idea.

Now I am no Dooms Day Prepper, but to maintain your roof and gutters is not a big ask for piece of mind! If your gutters and down pipes are clear of leaves and debris, and in good condition then the water is able to get away.

Guttering on buildings is designed to catch as much water as possible during a rain event. If the gutters or downpipes are blocked the water cannot drain away, it  may cause overflow or backup. This will create no end of trouble with water finding its way into ceiling cavities creating structural damage to the property.

Most insurance companies (check out yours) will not pay out on water damage caused by blocked gutters, downpipes and drains. Water damage must be as a direct result of storm damage or water inundation for example from a lost roof. Thus heavy rain conditions such as we have in Northern Queensland require properly flowing gutters. Sometimes you can’t always see the problem from the ground, and you won’t always notice the overflow until the damage is done.

Gutter-Vac FNQ are more than capable of providing the best possible solutions for the works that you require to roofs, gutters and down pipes on residential, commercial and industrial sites.

Now to the punch line…get organised NOW. Give our Gutter-Vac team a call on 0424624461 or 0428424507 and get that free quote before the rains set in. Just beacuse we are great at our job, doesn’t mean that we are expensive.

Clean. Safe…Easy