When it comes to home maintenance, it’s easy to overlook cleaning your gutters. It makes sense: Your gutters are mostly out of sight, so you usually don’t think about them until there’s a problem. Add in the fact that cleaning your gutters can be unpleasant, and it’s easy to understand why some homeowners put off gutter cleaning.
But keeping your gutters flowing freely is an important part of preventing water damage from striking your home. When your gutters get clogged, it can cause roof and fascia damage from backed-up drainage, as well as damage to your home’s foundation.
Here’s a guide to how frequently you should have your gutters cleaned.
When to Clean Your Gutters
At the very least, you should clean your gutters twice a year. One helpful suggestion is to time your gutter cleaning with replacing the batteries in your smoke detectors. That way, you’ll make sure excess debris like leaves, pine needles, and other materials don’t have the opportunity to build up in your gutters.
Factors to Consider
Cleaning your gutters twice a year is only the bare minimum. While this will prevent most damage from occurring, there are other factors that may increase the number of times you need your gutters cleaned. Let’s explore these factors.
Types of Foliage
Depending on the trees and other foliage around your home, you may need to clean your gutters more frequently. If you have pine trees, for instance, you may find they shed throughout the year, and they can build up quickly. The number of trees is also important, as well as their size. The more tall trees you have around your home, the more likely you are to need more frequent gutter cleaning.
Strong winds and heavy rain can lead to more debris making its way into your gutters, creating a higher likelihood that your gutters may become clogged. You may also want to at least inspect your gutters prior to severe weather to prevent damage in the event of heavy rain.
It’s never a bad idea to keep an eye on your gutters throughout the year to make sure some blockage hasn’t occurred. For instance, if you notice that water seems to be pouring over the side of your gutter at a certain point, it may indicate that there’s a clog there.
Another sign you may have a lot of debris in your gutters is an increased number of insects, birds, and other animals on your roof. These creatures tend to congregate around water, which means that you probably have standing water in your gutters.
Professional Gutter Cleaning
While some homeowners feel comfortable cleaning their gutters from a ladder, you may feel more comfortable hiring a professional to handle your gutter cleaning for you. Professional gutter cleaning usually takes much less time than trying to handle it yourself. Not only do professionals have more experience, but they also have the right equipment and are likely to be more comfortable on ladders, especially for houses with two or more stories.