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I can make $1,300 a day cleaning roofs and gutters. It's one of the easiest and highest-paying side gigs out there here's how I got started.

Jenna Gyimesi   

I can make $1,300 a day cleaning roofs and gutters. It's one of the easiest and highest-paying side gigs out there — here's how I got started.
  • Spencer Claeys is the owner of Northwest Pro Wash.
  • He says that power washing, roof and gutter cleaning are easy side hustles.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Spencer Claeys, owner of Northwest Pro Wash. It has been edited for length and clarity.

I can tell you that cleaning roofs and gutters is one of the easiest but highest-paying side jobs you can do. I can make more than $1,300 in a day.

There is so much demand

I've been doing this for about four years now. I got started with basic pressure washing and went door-to-door. I cleaned exteriors like driveways and decks. The business was great, but people kept asking me if I did roofs.

Eventually, I decided to give it a shot because the demand was super strong. Ever since, I've been busy.

I stopped going door to door during the Covid-19 pandemic. But people still needed their homes maintained, so I ran a Facebook ad with four different services; roof cleaning, gutter cleaning, pressure washing, and roof and gutter combo. The roof and gutter option took off, and I still use Facebook ads to find clients.

In Washington State, where I live, we have a massive amount of trees and rain — which means a lot of stuff falling from the sky. The roofs grow moss, and the gutters clog easily. It's the perfect area for this business.

The money is great

I charged $300 my first time for a full moss treatment and gutter clean. Now I charge double that price for three to four hours of work. I make about $3,000 per week working with one other person. I aimed for $2,000 a week when it was just me. I also usually get a tip between $30 and $100.

Before this, I was working at a job for something like $15 an hour. Now I can make hundreds per day. I'm sometimes like, "Holy crap" — what I can make in a day would have taken me weeks before, and I don't even have a boss.

Plus, I spend lots of time talking with the client, and we're really just chilling. I work with cool people daily — sometimes, they'll hand me a beer while working. Someone even gave me a bottle of Jack Daniels as a present and I've received a chainsaw, pizza, and other dinners.

People really appreciate it when you do a good job. It's a nice feeling when they're grateful, you know you worked hard, and you earned good money.

At first I was a little apprehensive

I wasn't sure what chemicals to use or what to do at all. I actually looked up how to clean roofs on YouTube on my way to my first job. But I got it done, and now I teach people how to clean roofs on YouTube, so it has come full circle.

It only took me a few weeks after that first job to get comfortable with it. It's pretty straightforward, and you don't need to overcomplicate it.

Cleaning a roof involves blowing off or brushing off the debris that falls from trees. You also have to treat the roof with some sort of basic chemical (basic as in not acidic because moss and other fungi like acidic environments). Then, you make sure no branches or anything are touching the roof. I use a leaf blower to clean out the gutters. That's basically it.

You don't need much equipment: I use a leaf blower, a ladder, and a brush. I also have a soft-wash tank for spraying roofs, but you don't need that to start. You can use a powder treatment instead, like laundry detergent or zinc powder. Either of those are fine.

I worked pretty much every day I could

I have another person who works with me now. We usually do six days a week on a roof. A couple of roofs per day is manageable.

I've taken a step back to pursue social media and to coach people on how to build their businesses, but I'm still out there on roofs and picking up cleanings.

Some roofs are more difficult than others

I've had certain roofs take me days. You should look at the size of the roof and steepness before setting a price. Doing the harder roofs is optional, but they pay better.

There have been certain roofs where I look at them, and there's no amount of money they can pay me to get up on it. Some old roofs are too slippery and difficult to walk on.

It's a young man's game

I'm 27, so I'm not old yet, but roof cleaning is more of a young man's game. Once you get past the age of 40 or 50, you don't want to be up on a ladder. Just be safe. Rope up when you need to, and make sure you have sturdy boots. I've been in this business for years and only heard of one person falling off.

But if you're a young dude, I don't think there's anything better than just going out and cleaning stuff — it's quick money. If you were to go out right now knocking on doors, you could make $300 to $500 bucks today.

If you make money through a lucrative and unique side hustle, email Jenna Gyimesi at jgyimesi@insider.com.


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