The evolution of The Gutter Tool has been a process that has been years in the making. Below is a quick and easy version of the story of our gutter cleaning tool.
I own a roof cleaning company here in Raleigh, North Carolina and gutter cleaning is a big part of our business that keeps us busy through the winter months. We clean a lot of gutters and have for the last 11 years. In that span of time, I have experimented with tools I made for gutter clean outs. I have also purchased most of the available tools that were on the market. While the tools fit most of my needs, I always ended up modifying them in some form or other to make them a little bit more functional.
With over 1200 hundred gutter cleaning customers in our database, we have seen every possible roof and gutter layout in our service area. The quest for the perfect gutter cleaning tool has been a hobby. My ultimate goal has always been to make the perfect tool. One that can serve both, the professional gutter cleaning companies and regular homeowners who still grab the ladder to clean out their own gutters.
I hit upon the gutter tool idea about five years ago. All the tools on the market were all the same design, basically a simple spoon type device. you screw on the end of any extension pole The gutter hangars ALWAYS hindered the cleaning. I was working one day and the idea of a hook to help get the debris under the hangars came out of the blue. I made a couple of prototypes and even bought the domain name thinking I was going to get it on the market.
Over the years, I worked the design based on the feedback my employees gave me and finally got it where everyone was happy. I contacted a company that works with injection molding and, ended up with prototypes, drawings and the design we have now. It could have been done much quicker but it was always a money and risk/reward (mostly money) issue with me that caused my delay. Injection molding is a very expensive process!
Believe me when I tell you there is a lot of time and even more money getting any type of product to market. Unless you have a rich uncle, investors, or some person willing to part with a lot of up front money, financing these projects is expensive! I almost considered not putting a patent on this tool just because I did not think anyone would take the time, money and effort to copy it. In the end, and with wise council, I relented and got the patent process moving.
The best part of this whole experience is that I have always been a great inventor (in my own mind) and I always have ideas for stuff that never go anywhere! So, to finally get this gutter cleaning tool out and on the market, where people can buy it and use it is a very cool accomplishment.
We have more tools and attachments coming soon! I have a couple of attachments in mind for the gutter cleaning tool, and a couple of others I would like to try to get out at some point. We will have to go through the whole process again but I think it will be much easier the second time around.
If you have ideas for improving it, send it to us!