How often should I clean my gutters? It’s a legitimate question, and the textbook answer is at least twice a year. In truth, the answer varies. We’ll explain.
When to Do It
At the very least, you should inspect your gutters once or twice a year to assess their health: once in spring; once before winter.
Those who live in regions with frequent and heavy rain may need to clean gutters more than twice a year, especially if their home is surrounded by shedding trees. And remember, not all trees shed alike. If you have pine trees on your property, you should inspect your gutters every three months, as these trees tend to shed needles year-round.
Gutter health assessment is even more critical if you live in cold-climate regions. Why? When gutter water is left standing, it eventually freezes, causing sagging or ice dams that are dangerous, costly to repair, and may lead to long-term roof, siding, foundation, and basement damage.
Why do It?
To inspect gutters, you need to pull out a ladder and climb to the roof level of your home, which is inconvenient and precarious. So most people don’t assess gutter health until they notice more extensive problems. If you have clogged gutters, you may experience:
Asphalt roof shingles contain fire and UV-resistant granules that loosen over time and wash down into your gutters. “Fall-off” is completely normal, but most people are unaware of how much shingle dust and granules accumulate in their gutter system. Over time, this dust mixes with other organic materials and forms a sludge that’s difficult to clean and heavy, which causes gutters to clog and sag.
When gutters and downspouts clog, water gathers, rises in the troughs, and overflows. Water should always be directed away from your home to prevent foundation, roof, and fascia damage.
Are your allergies sending you signals that something’s amiss? Check your gutters. Gathering leaves decompose and create a playground for mold spores. Mold is a health hazard, but it’s also unsightly and can stain siding, gutter troughs, and even spread to your roof.
It’s hard to believe, but in rare cases, neglected gutters can damage your entire roof. When gutters clog, rising water may touch abutting shingles. Once shingles are soaked with water, they soften, breaking the protective dam that keeps you and your family dry.
What’s Clogging Your Gutters?
While leaves are the most common gutter-clogging culprit, algae, moss, and even detached roofing material often gather in gutters. Over time, these materials form a sludge that settles at the bottom of your gutters. This material is challenging to clean because it is fine and slippery.
Want to Leave Gutter Cleaning to the Professionals?Men in Kilts offers complete gutter and downspout cleaning. If you’d like to find out how much it would cost to have us professionally clean your gutters, we’d be happy to provide you with a free estimate.