By Linda Schmid

Recognizing the Niche

Bob Schreiber’s cabin up north amidst the pine trees, is where he goes to enjoy hunting and fishing. One thing he is not enthused about is cleaning out the gutters. Once when he went to clear out the gutters, he discovered that he had previously left the chimney brush he had used to clean out the gutters, in the gutter – and that was the only unclogged space! From this discovery, a business was born. 

In 2004 Bob and son Randy messed around with the concept, building models and experimenting until they had developed 5 sizes of GutterBrushes. Then the business went on the road in Ohio with 5 guys going door-to-door selling the product. 

Navigating Unknown Waters 

“The challenge for a small business starting out,” Alex O’Hanley, Building Envelope Expert at GutterBrush said, “is getting the word out and achieving credibility with a unique product.” 

Schreiber’s product was an out-of-the-box approach; other products meant to keep debris out of the gutter generally involved covering, enclosing or restricting the gutter opening.  The biggest problem with gutter guards is they can get dirty and send the water past the gutter.  Bob invented a product that is non-restrictive, fills the gutter, and solves clogging by filtering debris.  Schreiber and team chipped away at the challenge of getting their product out in front of people by knocking on doors, presenting at trade shows, and even introducing their product on talk shows. 

“It was easy to get onto some of the shows early on, O’Hanley said. “At some point the team encountered Gary Sullivan; who thought the product was ingenious and featured it on his “At Home With Gary Sullivan”  radio show.  The product was even presented on The Today Show.” 

Covid and Beyond 

More recently the company has faced challenges that many companies have encountered. While GutterBrush is made in the USA, at times necessary materials and packaging were in short supply as well as people to transport them.  Covid created many challenges that the company more than survived by staying focused while working hard to solve problems and communicating clearly with customers, explaining delays and new ETAs.  

When labor,  materials, and other supply costs rose due to recent inflation,  the team, through the leadership of Randy Schreiber, decided not to pass on those cost increases, choosing instead to absorb rising expenses and help customers by keeping the price down.  Keeping the cost low has paid off in the long run as customers have realized the tremendous value the product continues to provide for the hard-earned dollar; during hard times the company developed even more loyal customers. Further, as customers realized an improved value, it allowed the company to counterbalance shrinking margins with increased sales volume and customer acquisition. 


Today, the company serves contractors, landscapers, metal building companies, and DIYers across the United States.  Their self-fitting brush gutter guards solve gutter clogging in gutters on pre-fab buildings, sunrooms, car ports, and lanais, fitting unique and unusual gutters as well as standard  k-style seamless gutters. 

Sourced from various companies in the states, the product features a galvanized steel core and UV-protected bristle brushes made to fit and fill gutters.

Lessons That Lead to Smooth Sailing 

Looking back at where the company has been, O’Hanley said the key to surviving and thriving is operating with good morals, values, and principles.   Everyone has to work hard, but operating with a true basis of “goodness” allows GutterBrush to make progress on even the roughest roads.  “People want to work for good companies,  culture matters” says O’Hanley. Our core provides resilience that helps the company move forward after weathering a storm. 

“There is no magical answer to success,” O’Hanley said. “It’s all the common sense stuff that gets you there,” he continued. “Work hard, be prepared, and treat your customers well.” 

You also need an employee-friendly culture, according to O’Hanley. “Caring about people has to start at the top,” he said, “and it’s hard to fabricate that kind of culture if it’s not there. Start paying attention to the things you do on a daily basis.” 

One thing O’Hanley said he wished he had done sooner is investigate adjacent markets and attend their trade shows to see if there was potential there. GutterBrushes fit the gutters of certain metal and pre-fabricated metal buildings and lanais that were challenged to find a fit.  These prefabricated gutters have had issues with other gutter protection products due to their odd shape and size. Now that the people in those markets have discovered that this product fits their gutters, they are excited.   This has created many new relationships and possibilities for  GutterBrush.

Into the Horizon 

As GutterBrush approaches its 20th anniversary in 2024, O’Hanley is optimistic about its future. The company is still growing, and they are putting together a new sample box of all brush sizes, to help contractors as they fit the product to their project’s gutters. The simplicity, effectiveness, and easy installation are key factors that O’Hanley believes will drive organic growth for many years to come. l