When Is the Best Time to Clean the Gutters?
When Is the Best Time to Clean the Gutters?
Did you know that failing to clean out your gutters can lead to hundreds or thousands of dollars’ worth of home repair?
That’s no joke. Forgetting to clean them out prevents them from doing their job. When that happens, you can wind up with a hole in your roof or rodents as your new roommates.
How often should you clean your gutters? It depends on your location and the number of trees surrounding your home. With the Fall season comes lots of falling leaves.
So, when is the best time to clean gutters? And how much does gutter cleaning cost? Better yet, what is gutter cleaning?
We’ve compiled this informative guide that will answer those questions and then some. Your home’s exterior is as important as its interior.
Let’s get to gutting!
Gutter Cleaning 101
First things first.
What does gutter cleaning entail?
Gutter cleaning is the act of removing debris, dust, dirt, leaves, and other things from the gutters of your home. Any type of scraper or shovel should do the trick. There are also gutter-cleaning tools available for sale that will make the job easier.
To reach the gutters, you’ll need to have a ladder.
There is danger involved in stepping on a ladder. Take every precaution necessary to ensure your safety. It’s always best to have a spotter around.
Don’t feel like risking a climb up the ladder? Some stores sell tools which can reach the gutter without one. The only downside to this method is you can’t see the mess as well.
Gutter cleaning also involves getting rid of the debris that has been taken out. Save your yard from looking unkempt and have trash cans or bags in an accessible area.
Whenever you’re done cleaning, use a hose to simulate rainwater. Send water through the gutters and see if it comes out as it should. This will also show you where any leaks happen to be.
What Do Gutters Do?
You may be wondering: why do our homes even have gutters? Does mine need them?
The answer is yes. Gutters are important in maintaining the integrity of your home and its foundation. A gutter helps your home stay in shape in many ways:
- They keep it free from water damage by directing water away
- They keep water from collecting on the roof and the foundation
- Prevents water from damaging windows, exterior paint, flowerbeds, etc.
- Anything and everything to protect your home from water
Have you purchased a home without gutters? Somebody may have been trying to avoid some maintenance.
What’s easier than removing mold from the inside walls of your home? Cleaning the gutters every few months. We guarantee it.
Why Should You Clean Your Home’s Gutters?
So, we know what gutter cleaning is. We know what gutters do for us. So, what happens if we don’t clean them?
The answer is: nothing good.
Here’s a brief list of things you can expect if you neglect to clean your gutters:
- Leaky roof
- Interior and exterior damage to the home
- A breeding ground for pests, rodents, and bees
- A home for mold
As if the water damage wasn’t bad enough, throw some rats and bugs into the mix!
Paying for pest control is redundant if you don’t clean out your gutters. Don’t think a furry animal sounds bad? Think again.
Mice and rats carry over 35 diseases, some of which is transferable to humans. Whether you handle the rodent or come into contact with its feces or urine, you’re in danger of catching a disease.
Beyond direct contact, mice and rodents can also infect ticks, mites, or fleas. These could then bite you, your pet, or your child. Don’t risk it!
And mold? Well, having an inspector come out to your home costs money. Testing for mold in the air costs money. And removing mold costs lots of money.
You’re feeling like cleaning the gutters right now, aren’t you? Yeah, us too.
When Is the Best Time to Clean Gutters?
Now that most of the bases are covered, we’re brought to another question. When is the best time to start this whole cleaning process?
This depends on the location of your home. Some areas of the country receive far less rain. Some experience fewer seasons, and don’t suffer from as much falling leaves. Some areas of the country are in warmer climates, and homeowners don’t have to worry about ice.
Take a look at your home’s surroundings.
- Do you have a big, beautiful maple tree right out front?
- Is your home shaded by mass amounts of branches and leaves?
Now think about the weather in your area.
- Should you be concerned about ice?
- Does your state have many trees which shed in the fall?
- Does your city have a lot of rain storms?
The general rule of thumb is to clean your gutters twice a year.
For special cases, this rule needs altering. The more trees that surround your home, the more often you should check out the state of your gutters. This especially applies to big shedders, like pine trees.
Experts recommend cleaning out your gutters in the spring and in the fall.
Spring brings warmer weather, which makes cleaning easier. Especially for those that live in cooler climates. Once everything has thawed out, get up on that roof and start cleaning.
Try to clean out your gutters as close to the end of the fall season as possible. The longer you wait, the more gunk will have collected that you can remove. But if your gutters are looking heavy beforehand, don’t hesitate to clean them 3 times this year.
Should You Hire a Professional to Clean Your Gutters?
The hardest question of them all: DIY or hire a professional to do it for you?
This decision is all yours. It depends upon your financial situation and how much time you have on your hands. It also depends on how much risk you’re willing to take during the cleaning process.
To say that climbing a ladder is dangerous is true. The World Health Organization states that there are more than 164,000 ER visits per year from ladder injuries. Worse than that, ladder falls claim 300 lives a year in the U.S.
This can happen for many reasons:
- Losing balance
- Taking a bad step on the ladder
- Mounting or dismounting the ladder in an improper way
- Over-reaching while on the ladder
While some of these things may seem improbable, they’re not.
Take into consideration how comfortable your balance is. Are you scared of heights? You probably shouldn’t be taking on this task.
Most ladder deaths occur from 10 feet high or less. Since most one-story homes sit at about 15 feet high, there’s no doubt this is dangerous. Take every precaution necessary.
Should I Invest in Gutter Covers?
You may have heard of gutter covers. What are they?
Gutter covers are what they sound like. They’re screens or shields which prevent larger debris from getting into your gutters.
So, should you invest in them? That’s up to you.
Gutter covers do prevent large objects from entering. Think: big leaves, sticks, or branches. But there are still many small things that can sneak through the cracks.
If you buy gutter covers, you may not get to skip the two scheduled gutter cleanings a year. It will make the project a tad bit easier, though. Think less large, unmanageable objects, and easier-to-toss small debris.
We recommend saving the cost of gutter covers. Put that money towards having a professional come to do the job for you. Less work for roughly the same amount of money.
Get to Gutting
When is the best time to clean your gutters? Sooner rather than later. In fact, why don’t you go check on your gutters right now?
While there is a minimum amount of cleaning necessary to upkeep your home, there is no maximum. Clean the gutters whenever you see fit. There is no such thing as “too much” when it comes to maintaining this integral structure of your home.
Gutters protect your house in amazing and simple ways. Cleaning them isn’t hard. So why put it off?
If you’re in a home without gutters, we can’t recommend them enough. Avoid the hassle and the financial blow that being without gutters is bound to cause. These guys do wonders for a home’s foundation.
Not only does gutter cleaning protect your home, it looks nice, too. A clean passageway is a sight for sore eyes.
Contact us for a free, professional consultation today!