Why we take before and after photos on every job

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Why we take before and after photos on every job

We often get asked why we take before and after photos on every job, but once we explain why, it will make perfect sense.

The problem with gutters are that they are up high on your roof edge.  This doesn’t lend itself to being able to see what is in your gutters or what they look like after we have completed our vacuum clean of your gutters.  Also, you shouldn’t have to climb a ladder to inspect our work because for a lot of customers, that is exactly why they have us clean their gutters so they DON’T have to go up a ladder.

By simply taking a before and after photo of the gutters, we are able to show our customers just what was in their gutters and then also show the proof of our work and that the gutters are now clean and free to do their intended purpose.

It is such a simple solution to allow our customers have that peace of mind that we have done the work and it means they don’t have to be left wondering or climb up a ladder to see for themselves.  Our before and after photos is one of the most commonly commented on parts of our service – our customers love them! 

For our commercial customers, before and after photos are not just a feel good factor, they are also proof of service and can be forwarded onto parties that need to know they gutters have been vacuum cleaned, but don’t need to be on site or even in the same city or state for that matter.

For a lot of companies and individuals, they can also keep these photos as a record of the service which is also great from an insurance perspective.

Such a simple little addition to our services, yet one of the most important things we do.

New Year, New Maintenance/Improvements

It’s that time of year when we all start making those New Year’s resolutions, but what about some New Year’s resolutions for your home.

Maybe it is time to have a look and see what needs a little attention around your home.  Perhaps the deck needs a new coat of oil or the house needs a coat of paint.

This is the perfect time of year to look at your driveways, paths and even your roof.  Are they looking a little dirty?  Maybe some mould, moss or lichen is growing?  Why not organise to have a pressure clean of the surface done (we can help you with this) and then talk to us about applying EnviroClean to the surface if mould, moss or lichen has been growing because EnviroClean will kill off those spores and prevent future growth.

Just as making the decision to go to the gym and get healthy for the year in your New Year’s Resolutions, maybe it is time to make some plans for your home and put together a plan for the routine maintenance that should be scheduled for your home.

Sure this is a little tongue in cheek, but at the same time, how much time do we spend on our New Year’s Resolutions without any thought about the possible maintenance and improvements to our home that we could add to the list.

So, New Year’s Resolutions for your home?  What will they be this year?

The top Aussie BBQ tips

It’s that time of year to pull out your tongs and fire up the BBQ, but there are few must do things to pull off the best Aussie BBQ, be that just for the family or for when you are having a few mates around.

  • Prime Position

Make sure you have chosen the perfect place for the BBQ in your yard.  Sure, you can go all technical and make sure it is in a well ventilated spot, but the real secret…. put the BBQ in the focus spot of the party so that the gang can congregate around the BBQ to chat, hold the tongs, have a beer or to tell you how to cook the perfect steak.

  • Turn the meat….

The great debate over every BBQ is how often you should turn your meat.  Many will say only turn it once, whilst others will argue that you should be turning it often, even every 30 seconds.  One thing for sure, use tongs so that you can turn quickly and not lose the moisture in the steak… and don’t poke and prod your steak to much. 

  • Have a little variety

Don’t just stick to the steaks and snags, why not add a little variety to your BBQ.  Skewers are always a hit and great for any guests who are vegetarian.  Try some marinated chicken or even a pizza if you have the right gear.  Remember that BBQing is not just for meat, why not cook some mangos, bananas or pineapple for a little BBQ dessert.

  • Get your tools of the trade

The ultimate Aussie BBQ means having that favourite pair of tongs, a great spatula or even an egg ring for perfectly round fried eggs.  What is your favourite tool?  Maybe you have a brand new scraper that cleans your BBQ up like a dream.  Another great conversational piece are your tools of the trade. 

  • Give it a rest

We know that everyone is hungry and wants to get stuck into your seriously good BBQing, but if you want them to rave about your BBQ for years to come, then let your meat rest for a few minutes before serving.  Sure everyone will protest, but it will be worth making them wait.  Allowing the meat to rest allows the juices to be reabsorbed by the meat so it doesn’t dry out and allows the meat to ‘relax’ so tell everyone to just chill.

  • When it’s hot, make sure you also chill

Every good BBQ also needs a few quiet and cold drinks to go with it, so make sure you have your esky game on point.  Not only do you have enough eskies so that a cold drink is within arms-reach for everyone, make sure you have plenty of ice.  It is easy to get all hot with the BBQ, but you certainly don’t want your drinks in the heat, so grab an extra bag of ice just in case.

  • Be a BBQ Bestie

When the BBQ is over, don’t walk away from your BBQ and not give it the attention it deserves.  When it is still warm, brush it off to remove any residue.  Empty the drip tray, maybe line it with aluminium foil for the next time for an easier clean.  When BBQ is cool, then wash it with some soapy water and a sponge.  Then make sure you give it a spray with cooking spray or vegetable oil over the plate and it will prevent rusting.  Then your BBQ is all set for the next great BBQ…. Maybe even tomorrow!

So this summer, throw another snag on the BBQ for that unexpected guest (even if it is a friendly bird) and grab some cold drinks and few mates and continue the every summer BBQ arguments on is it 6 and out or not and should you turn steak more than once!

The Best Pubs in Australia

Gutter-Vac is a nationwide group and we are all partial to a good beer at the local, so this month we thought we should bring some notable pubs to visit in Australia – be that for a beer or to visit a historical pub with a rich history.  Here’s some of our top picks to put on your list to visit….

  • Macquarie Arms Hotel, NSW

We have to start with Australia’s oldest pub that overlooks the Hawkesbury River.  A quick drive from Sydney but allow some time to sit and enjoy the view.

  • Taylors Arm, NSW

Remember the Slim Dusty song about the pub with no beer?  Well here it is.  In the little town (population of 50) of Taylors Arm.  If you are going to visit a pub, it doesn’t get more iconic than this one.

  • Birdsville Hotel, Queensland

Visited by locals and tourist alike, this is one for the bucket list.  Did you know that it doubles as the airport bar as the airport is across the road so you can sit back with a cold one and watch the small aircraft come and go.

  • Breakfast Creek Hotel, Queensland

Maybe a little biased as it is just down the road from our head office, but you just can’t beat a steak from the Breakfast Creek Hotel, so next time you are in Brisbane, stop in and order a steak.  Lots of history as well as some pretty fine beers to choose from.

  • Daly Waters Pub, Northern Territory

This is the oldest pub in the Territory and just a short 900 km drive north from Alice Springs (!)…. But what you might know this pub for is the bras that it has hanging from the ceiling and the bar that has ever inch covered with stickers. 

  • Prairie Hotel Parachilna, South Australia

Yep, this little gem is your typical country pub, but if you visit and decide to stay for a meal, you might just be game enough to order the Feral Mixed Grill !

  • Tanswells Commercial Hotel, Beechworth, Victoria

At first glance you might not know this pub or why you would visit, but you may just change your mind when you find out that it was reported that this was the ‘local’ for a guy you might know… Ned Kelly.

  • Pub in the Paddock, Pyengara, Tasmania

Can you get any more Australian than having a pub in the middle of a paddock?  We don’t think so.  You will find the Pub in the Paddock near the St Columba Falls and it has been there since 1880 !

This would certainly make an epic pub crawl to travel around Australia and visit all of these pubs, wouldn’t it?  How many on this list have you been to?  Which one is your favourite?

Merry Christmas & Office Closures

Merry Christmas!  Yes, it is finally here.  Most years everyone can’t believe Christmas has come around again so fast, but I think this year, everyone is pleased to see Christmas and say good bye to 2020.  What a challenging year it has been with COVID, but at the same time, another rewarding year for us at Gutter-Vac as we look after both our residential and commercial customers and their properties.

Our Head Office will be closing on Wednesday 23rd December at 5pm and we will reopen on Monday 4th January.  The franchisees often take an extra week in January, but if you call our 1300 654 253 number it will still be answered and your details passed on or you can always contact the franchisees directly (find their details on their location page on the website) or simply put in a Request a Quote form on the website and they will be in touch.

We want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  We also want to say thank you for your continued use of the Gutter-Vac services.  Each and every one of our franchisees are a local small business owner and we all know that moving into 2021, we need to get behind our local small businesses so thank you for supporting ours.

Here’s to hopefully a great 2021! 

What about the gutters on your investment property?

Having your gutters cleaned can be a property maintenance task that is easily overlooked or simply forgotten.  How often do you look up at the gutters on your home and wonder when was the last time they were cleaned or is there anything in my gutters?

We all know that having your gutters cleaned is an essential property maintenance task because blocked gutters followed by a heavy rainfall can lead to potentially disastrous water damage to your home.

So the question is, if we often overlook or forget to look up and think about our gutters on our own home, what about the gutters on your investment property?  They are not something you see every day so will be even easier to overlook than those on your own home.

We service many investment properties for our customers.  The thing they love most, other than that we can take care of the gutters effectively and efficiently, that we are fully insured or that we can provide a tax invoice for claiming this expense on their investment property, our customer love that we can remind them when the next gutter cleaning service is needed.  It means not having to try and remember that the gutters need to be cleaned, we can take that off your mind and simply send a text or email when the next service is due.

When was the last time you had your gutters on your investment property cleaned?  Give us a call on 1300 654 253 and enter the postcode of where the investment property is and you will be put through to the local franchisee which is great for those that have investment properties interstate or simply not down the road from where they live.  Get the same great service nationwide.

Vacuum Cleaning Gutters on Commercial Properties

Many people when they first learn about Gutter-Vac assume we clean just gutters on residential houses – and we do and we love our residential customers – but did you know that approximately 70% of our work is on commercial properties?

The biggest reason that commercial property managers like to use Gutter-Vac is because of our safety.  Absolutely they want our vacuum gutter cleaning system efficiencies and effectiveness, but safety is a must on a commercial property.

A lot of commercial properties are much higher than the average family home and in a setting that could be open to the public or with other people working in the same area, so understanding how to work safely at heights as well as in general public areas is a must.

What are the sort of commercial properties that we regularly vacuum clean the gutters on.

  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Warehouses
  • Defence Force bases and buildings
  • Local City Councils
  • Retirement homes / Lifestyle Villages
  • Townhouses / Apartment buildings
  • Pubs/Hotels
  • Sheds and rural properties
  • Horse stables / Livestock Farms
  • Childcare Centres
  • Office buildings
  • Shopping Centres

And the list goes on.  We have done distribution centres for large supermarket chains, wineries and even aircraft hangers.

Sometimes we need to bring in an elevated work platform (think like a cherry picker) to access the roof, but once up there, are work is exactly the same as on a home, just more and longer gutters!

Because we are fully insured, this is also a large benefit to commercial organisations because it gives them peace of mind.  Plus, because Gutter-Vac is a nation-wide group, we do work for national organisations and companies that can have a single point of contact (at our head office) but have the work done right across the country.

So do you know someone that managers a commercial property or properties?  Do you think we could help them?  We’d love for you to pass on our details and remember, that same service you receive for your residential home, we offer that same customer service experience to our commercial customers because they have gutters too!

Safety is a priority at Gutter-Vac

When Gutter-Vac began (more than 20 years ago now), I wanted to ensure one simple thing….

A franchisee could go out for the day, make a good solid living to provide for their family by vacuum cleaning gutters for customers, but I also wanted to ensure that at the end of the day, they would be able to go home to their family…. In one piece!

Working on a roof and working on ladders is not the safest place to work, but if you have the knowledge on how to do this safely, plus the safety equipment to back you up, then there is no reason that you can’t go out and work at heights for the entire day and then make it home to your family each night.

This is why I began Gutter-Vac’s sister company, Ballantyne Safety.  Not only is it an Registered Training Office (RTO) that teaches people how to work at heights, but we also have safety products and systems to ensure the safety of not just the Gutter-Vac franchisees, but also people from other companies that are working on roofs and climbing up and down ladders all day.

Many people don’t realise that we have actually trained many people from other companies as well as the Gutter-Vac franchisees.  Why do people like our training?  Because, believe it or not, you can do a working at heights course to be trained to work at heights WITHOUT having any practical training, just theoretical.  I always do a practical session to put into practice what they have learnt in the classroom because being on a roof and implementing what you have learnt is a very different feeling than just talking about it.

Ballantyne Safety also manufactures specialised roof anchor points that can be attached to a roof for just the time an individual needs to work on that roof, then they can be removed and used for the next job.

The secret (well, it’s not really a secret) is that we use a travel restraint system of working at heights rather than a fall arrest system.  What does this mean?  Basically the difference is that with a travel restraint system, if you fall whilst on a roof, you fall over on the roof, but not off the roof.  A fall arrest system means that if you fall over, you actually fall off the roof, but you are held in a harness, basically dangling off of the roof.

By using a travel restraint system, this means franchisees can work on their own because with a fall arrest system, you must have two people onsite at all times.  It also means that franchisees are kept safer because a fall off of the roof, even with a harness, can still cause injury.  Not as much as a fall on the ground, but still not a pleasant experience that’s for sure.

So we take safety very seriously at Gutter-Vac.  Every franchisee and ALL of their staff are trained to work at heights and have all the correct and current equipment to do so.  Add to that we are fully insured to work at heights so all of this should give you peace of mind that when you hire Gutter-Vac to vacuum clean your gutters, we do so safely – for us and for you.

Stress Free Christmas Tips

Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year with lots going on, lots of people coming and going, plus finding that perfect gift for a loved one, but what can we do to make life a little less stressful at this time so that we can also enjoy this festive time!

Here’s 5 of our top tips….

Tip #1 – Preparation

Being prepared is a must for any time you are about to go into a stressful time.  If you were to take an overseas holiday (ok, maybe not this year!) how long would you spend in preparation and planning to make it the best trip ever?  You would never turn up to the airport on the day of departure and then decide where you want to go.  We spend so much time, yet when it comes to Christmas, we often leave things to the last minute. 

Be like Santa…. Make a list and check it twice!  Being prepared and organised will massively reduce stress levels.

Tip #2 – Remember

Remember what this time of year is actually all about for you and your family.  Is it all about having the perfect lunch with all the trimmings, or is it about laughing and spending time with your family.  Maybe it is time to throw out your traditions if they are stressing you out.  Maybe you don’t need 4 different roasts, maybe just one would be enough to provide a great meal that allows everyone to spend time with each other.  Maybe it is time to do what is ‘right’ for you and your family, rather than what is ‘expected’ of us at this time of year.

What sort of Christmas do you want and then plan the day to allow that to happen.

Tip #3 – Budget

This budget tip actually fits in with tip #1 and #2 because you need to be prepared and also remember what it is you want to achieve.  Make a list and set a budget for things such as presents so that you don’t end up having a “budget hangover” in January from overspending at Christmas.  Maybe this is the year to make gifts for family and friends.  What would be a thoughtful gift rather than just an expensive gift. 

Tip #4 – Care

A busy and stressful time can also mean that you may not look after yourself.  Watch how much you eat and drink during this festive season…. Yes we really just said that!  Make sure you are getting enough sleep and that you take a little time out for yourself.  For a time that should be a great time to spend with your family and rest and recover going into the new year, we often do the opposite and wear ourselves out.  Now, don’t get us wrong, if you want to go to parties and spend time with friends and extended family, then that is great!  But if you find yourself getting particularly stressed over this time, then take a little time out for you.

Tip #5 – Fun

Make sure you have some fun this year over the festive season.  A good laugh, lots of chats and spending time with your family (well the ones you like!) can be great for your soul.  Often times we go into a busy time of the year assuming it will be stressful and guess what, we make it stressful.  What if you decided this year instead of stressful you made it fun?  It can happen, but you need to decide that that’s how it will happen!  Prepare for fun rather than stress.

We hope that this is a great little reminder for the coming weeks to not make this time of year stressful, but instead enjoy this time.  We are wishing you a very Merry …. And stress free…. Christmas!

Exciting News… Gutter-Vac named Wet & Forget Stockists

We are pleased to let you know that not only are we now fully restocked with all of our products (including Gutter-Flow), Gutter-Vac has been named a stockist for Wet & Forget which is perfect for mould and lichen removal. 

Mould and lichen is not only unsightly, it can also potentially be harmful to your property and if on surfaces where there is ‘foot traffic’, it can also be a major slip hazard.

At Gutter-Vac we use a number of different products to maintain your home and one of the products we like to use is Wet & Forget.  Becoming a stockist for the product now means the Gutter-Vac franchisees have access to the product in large concentrated quantities so can carry out any work – large or small.  Click here to request a quote.

Gutter-Flow is now fully restocked so if you have been considering a gutter guard, we highly recommend Gutter-Flow.  There is a reason for this…. Even if you have a gutter guard, your gutters will still need to be cleaned.  Maybe less frequently, but they will still need to be cleaned because dirt, seeds, mud and sludge will continue to build up under a gutter guard. 

This is why we use Gutter-Flow because not only does it keep the large leafy matter out of your gutters, but it also allows water flow PLUS it is easy to remove, clean the gutters and then replace to continue guarding your gutters without any damage to your gutters.  Not sure if Gutter-Flow is right for you or not?  Click here to request a quote and to discuss with your local Gutter-Vac franchisee.

NEW PRODUCT:

Gutter-Vac uses and recommends Miss Muffet’s Revenge which is a great spider repellent product as it helps guard your home from creepy crawlies.  Spiders are good for the environment to help control unwanted insects, however we don’t always want them in or around our homes.  The way Miss Muffet’s Revenge works is by creating an impassable barrier to stop spiders in their tracks! Click here to request a quote and to discuss with your local Gutter-Vac franchisee.

In 2021, we are going to be delivering more valuable products to all franchisees to be able to help you maintain your property further.