HIRING A CONTRACTOR
Door-to-Door Solicitations We were solicited by a door-to-door company wanting to clean our gutters. My wife and I are elderly (both in our 80’s) and I certainly have no inkling to climb up on a ladder and figure out how to clean gutters. What should we do?
Let’s first address the issue of cleaning gutters. Ask any gutter company and they will tell you that regular gutter cleaning is one of the most important home maintenance items to do that will avoid repairs in the long run. The main feature of a gutter system is to control and remove water away from your home. Debris in the gutter system will clog the gutters and prevent them from operating properly. Clogged gutters will cause excess roof water runoff to accumulate against the foundation of the home and can lead to foundation heaving and severe cracking in the home. Along with misdirected roof water run-off, sidewalks can crack and driveways can heave. Clogged gutters can also create moisture issues along the wood fascia which will lead to wood rot and can drywall water damage.
Especially during the winter, clogged gutters will form ice dams which are particularly damaging because water can back up into the home along the ceiling line. We are fast approaching our monsoon season so now is the time to give those gutters a good cleaning and make sure they are operating correctly. If you think that a few tree leaves and twigs are not of a concern, think again. Dirt and roof granules easily build up in a gutter system and just because you cannot see this debris, does not mean it is not there. Cleaning gutters is not for everyone and a reliable, insured, licensed and bonded company should be used for this risky job.
Gutters should be inspected periodically not only for clogs but for maintenance issues and it is important to keep in mind that maintaining a clean gutter system is important to the overall health of a home. Several of our local gutter companies will come out and give free inspections. As far as using a door-to-door solicitation company to clean your gutters, please make sure they are appropriately licensed and have workers compensation and general liability insurance. ARS §32-1101 “Any business which contracts or offers to contract to build, repair, add to, subtract from, improve, move, wreck or demolish any building, highway, road, railroad, excavation or other structure, development or improvement, or to do any part of the work must be a licensed contractor.” If this door-to-door company is not licensed and they have appropriate workers compensation and general liability insurance and appropriate business license and tax licenses (for your protection), ARS§32-1121.A.14 states they do not need a license if “Any person other than a licensed contractor engaging in any work or operation on one undertaking or project by one or more contracts, for which the aggregate contract price, including labor, materials and all other items, but excluding any electrical fixture or appliance that was designed by the manufacture, that is unaltered, unchanged or unmodified by any person, that can be plugged into a common household electrical outlet utilizing a two pronged or three pronged electrical connector and that does not use any other form of energy, including natural gas, propane or other petroleum or gaseous fuel, to operate or is attached by a nail, screw or other fastening device to the frame or foundation of any residential structure, is less than one thousand dollars.