How Often Should You Get Your Gutter Cleaned?
Your gutters perform an integral function for your home by keeping water flowing away from your roof and your foundation. How often you need to clean your gutters can depend on many factors. There’s no set rule, though keeping a keen eye on your property can help you decide when this chore needs to be done.
You’ll want to watch for signs of trouble when it rains to see if the water is flowing through them like it should. This guide will help you to determine how often you should get your gutters cleaned.
What Factors Affect How Often to Clean Gutters?
To determine how often you need gutter cleaning, you should consider the condition of your gutters. If they are newer, you may need to clean them less frequently. Additionally, the kinds of trees and foliage that are present near your roof may be a factor. This type of debris can get into your gutters and clog things up.
The weather and any gutter protection systems you may have in place can also clue you in for when it’s time to give those gutters a good cleaning. For most homes, you’ll want to clean your gutters once or twice per year.
If your home is close to towering oak trees hanging over your roof, you’ll want to plan on doing gutter cleaning at least twice per year. Pine trees near your home will mean even more frequency of cleanings to get those needles out of there.
However, if you have a gutter protection system, such as gutter guards or screens, you can save yourself a lot of hassle no matter what kind of trees surround your home. Don’t just rely on this system to take care of your gutters, though. Anything can get caught up in there at any time of year. Pay attention to the signs of clogged gutters and act quickly if you notice a problem.
Small animals love to make homes out of your gutters. They can prevent rainwater and melted ice from flowing through your gutter system. Ice in the winter is a problem as well since standing water in the gutters can freeze, which will make your gutters swell and crack, rendering them useless. It’s far better to maintain your gutters throughout the year than to contend with a messy and expensive problem like this.
When Should You Clean Your Gutters During the Year?
If you choose to clean your gutters twice per year, it’s ideal to do it in spring and then again in early fall. Both fall and winter can be rough on gutter systems with autumn leaves and the cold. Add in some winter snow and ice and you’re more likely to experience clogged gutters.
Once those leaves start falling, you’ll want to have your gutters cleaned to have peace of mind all winter long. The snow will have nothing to cling to, allowing it to melt and move along through the gutters and out the downspouts.
In spring, you can get your gutters ready to go again by ensuring they’re cleared of clutter and ready for rain. This is also an ideal time to inspect your gutters for cracks caused by freezing weather.
Why You Need to Make Time to Have Your Gutters Cleaned
Cleaning gutters is an important task that ensures you remove any blockages that would otherwise prevent proper drainage. Ignoring your gutters could lead to decay and damage on the exterior of your home.
Loose or broken gutters and gutters that are filled with debris allow water to pool on top of your roof. In the short term, it leads to a dirty appearance while in time, dirt, mold, mildew, and algae build up. Depending on the type of roof you have and how old it is, it may cause leaks to develop, dripping into the interior of your home and causing even more damage.
Problems with gutters can also impact the exterior walls and your home’s foundation. It’s easy to forget about your gutters until you develop a major problem with your home and need it repaired. Neglecting to clean them invites mice and other critters to cozy up inside, which may damage the gutters.
Few people look forward to the chore of cleaning gutters. For others, the task is far too dangerous. Fortunately, you can hire a gutter cleaning company to expertly address the situation.
Signs That It’s Time to Clean Those Gutters Out
According to Premier Gutter Cleaning experts, there are some telltale signs that even new homeowners will be able to spot if there are problems with your gutters. One of the best ways to spot trouble is to watch your gutters during a rainstorm. If the gutters are overflowing and spilling down onto the ground, that’s not a good sign.
Continue your inspection to look at the downspouts, where the water should come flowing out of your gutter system. If it isn’t readily flowing out, you likely have something clogging your gutters.
If you have a second-story home, you may be able to look out your windows and see into sections of your gutters – if you see debris in there, it’s probably time to have those gutters cleaned out.
Additionally, you’ve got gutter trouble if you see any of the sections are broken, cracked, or not firmly attached to either the roof or exterior walls. One of the more hidden signs of gutter problems is when you notice your roof is leaking inside your home. Always check for water stains on the ceilings, particularly in the corners. The leak may be independent of your gutter system, but in many cases, a clogged or broken gutter may be the culprit behind this damage.
How to Clean Your Gutters
Many homeowners wonder if it’s possible to clean their own gutters. The simple answer is yes; however, it can be a dangerous task so make sure to get the correct types of tools and ladder and follow these steps to get it done safely.
Gather Your Tools and Safety Gear
Before you start, it’s essential to have the right tools and safety gear on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Safety Glasses and Gloves: Protect your eyes and hands from debris and gutter gunk.
- Ladder: Ensure it’s sturdy and tall enough to reach your gutters safely.
- Garden Hose with a Spray Nozzle: For flushing out the gutters.
- Gutter Scoop or Trowel: To remove leaves and debris.
- Bucket or Bag: To collect debris and prevent a messy cleanup.
- Safety Harness: If your roof is steep or high.
Choose the Right Time
Pick a day with good weather for your gutter-cleaning task. Avoid rainy or windy days, as it can be dangerous to work on a wet or unstable ladder.
Position the Ladder Securely
Set up your ladder at a stable point, ensuring it’s on level ground. Extend it at least three feet above the gutter line for easy access.
Use your gutter scoop or trowel to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris. Start near the downspout and work your way toward the other end. Dispose of the debris in your bucket or bag.
Flush the Gutters
Once you’ve removed the larger debris, use the garden hose with a spray nozzle to flush out the remaining dirt and small particles. Ensure that water flows freely through the downspout.
Check for Leaks and Damage
While cleaning, keep an eye out for leaks, loose gutter spikes, or any visible damage. Address these issues promptly to prevent more significant problems down the line.
Clean the Downspouts
Ensure that the downspouts are clear of obstructions. Use a plumbing snake or a strong stream of water to dislodge any clogs.
Test the Gutters
After cleaning, do a final test by running water through the gutters and downspouts. This step ensures everything is flowing smoothly.
To keep your gutters in good condition, create a maintenance schedule. Regular cleaning, especially in the spring and fall, can prevent costly repairs.
When cleaning the gutters for your home by yourself please keep in mind that it can be a dangerous task. You need the right type of ladder and tools to get the job done safely. If you have more than one story on your home, are getting older, or simply aren’t all that handy, it’s a much better idea to hire professionals for your gutter cleaning. You won’t have to waste your free time.
Professional gutter cleaning companies know how to clean gutters safely. They also know what to look for when spotting problems and will have everything needed to make any necessary repairs. Since gutter cleaners do this work every day, they’ll get this task done for you more quickly. You won’t have to worry about getting hurt while trying to tackle this chore, and it will be money well-spent to know your gutters are ready for the next season ahead.