- 1 How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?
- 2 What Happens If You Do Not Clean Your Gutters?
- 3 How Much Does It Cost to Hire A Professional to Clean Your Gutter?
- 4 Should You Clean Your Gutters Yourself?
- 5 How Our Pros Clean Gutters
- 6 Clean Your Gutters at the Right Intervals
How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?
Generally, you should clean your gutters at least twice a year, even if there is little to no rainfall or snow in your region. It is an essential component of home maintenance.
Besides precipitation, branches, twigs, leaves, pine needles, tree nuts, needles from pine trees, and other foliage can make their way into your gutter.
These materials are of particular concern if you live in a wooded area, but even one nearby tree can clog your gutters over the course of a few months (especially in the fall).
If many types of trees toss their components onto your roof and into your gutters, you will likely need to clean your gutters more often — we generally suggest quarterly (i.e., once every three months).
If you clean your gutters regularly, you will extend their lifespan. This means you’ll have to pay for replacements less often. Plus it will make your gutters, and therefore your house, look nice too.
Cleaning the gutters and removing clogs is the best way to ensure they will be ready to drain when the next thunderstorm or snowstorm hits your neighborhood.
What Happens If You Do Not Clean Your Gutters?
Let’s face it, we all live busy lives, and cleaning your gutters is probably the last thing on your to-do list.
However, it is vital to get it done.
If you simply forget to clean them until it is too late, you can expose your home to lots of expensive problems.
Let’s take a look at the potential risks of not cleaning your gutters.
Usually, the first thing homeowners notice when their gutters are having issues is leaks.
Leaky gutters are an all too common symptom of gutters with inadequate cleaning, usually from clogs.
When you go too long without gutter maintenance, your downspout will be clogged with all sorts of dirt, debris, leaves, and whatever other material trees and pests decide to add in for good measure.
As a result, the water from rain and melted snow won’t have anywhere else to go. And instead of flowing out of your downspout away from your home, the water will leak over the top of the full gutters.
This gutter waterfall can damage your patio, lawn, landscaping around your house, your foundation, and much more.
Mold is another serious problem that you may encounter if you don’t clean your gutters frequently.
Some homeowners think mold and mildew growth on the outside of their home won’t cause damage. But, the fact is mold can damage not only the exterior of your home but easily spread to the inside too.
Plus, it can bring along a whole host of health issues for you and your family.
Decomposing leaves are the perfect food for mold. If you have a wet climate and put off gutter cleaning for too long, they can become overrun with black mold, ruining the appearance of your home and possibly your family’s health as well.
The longer you wait to clean your gutters and remove any mold growth, the more expensive it will be to get rid of it.
One of the worst outcomes of failing to clean your gutters is damage to your roof. Why? Roofs are expensive to repair, especially if the roof rafters, fascia, or soffits have water damage from leaky gutters.
When gutters and downspouts get clogged, rainwater can’t flow and drain safely away from your home. Instead, it flows to where it shouldn’t. Usually it flows back onto the edge of your roof and under your shingles (not good!).
When the roof’s edge has constant contact with rainwater from overflowing gutters, it can cause wood rot and extensive water damage.
Rotting wood can spread higher up onto the roof and eventually leak inside your home, causing interior water damage.
Of course, if you clean your gutters routinely, you will avoid having to pay thousands of dollars to get your roof replaced. We promise – gutter cleaning is a lot less expensive than a new roof, and it’ll cause way less stress!
Gutters, particularly ones that are dirty, are breeding and nesting grounds for bugs and small animals. When these pests make your gutter their home, they will be more likely to burrow to the inside of your house.
Decomposing leaves tend to attract a lot of insects and bugs since they eat and nest in leaves. Small animals like squirrels, chipmunks, birds and even snakes love to build nests in your cozy gutters too.
The last thing most homeowners want inside your home is pests and bugs. Cleaning your gutters is a great way to prevent this entry path for pests.
Driveway, Landscaping, and Foundation Damage
Another set of problems you can face has to do with areas the rainwater from clogged gutters could flood.
Overflowing rainwater can fall directly over the edge of your gutters onto your driveway and the perimeter of your home.
Clogged gutters redirecting water over the gutters’ edge will harm your landscaping. The extra rainwater will flood and kill most plants.
Excess water that drains on or around your driveway can cause extensive damage. If you have a gravel driveway, the water will eventually wash away a large portion of the gravel.
On the other hand, if you have a paved, concrete, or stone driveway, water can flow under it and create voids. Then when a heavy load (like your car) stops over the void, it will collapse into a hole. The size of the hole can vary from a foot wide to the entire width of your driveway.
Frequent pools of water next to your house from clogged gutters can seep into your foundation, flood your home, and cause extensive water damage. Plus, the standing water will make your yard muddy (gross!).
In any of these cases, you can avoid the headaches by keeping your gutters clean and your rainwater flowing away from your home.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire A Professional to Clean Your Gutter?
The national average cost for gutter cleaning is between $115 to $250. The price varies depending on the size of your home, the number of floors in your home, local labor rates, and season.
For example, gutter cleaning on a single-story house is usually cheaper, typically ranging between $80 to $200. And just like you are guessing, two-story homes have a higher gutter cleaning cost– between $100 to $275 on average.
Downspout cleaning is typically fixed with a long plumber’s snake and is a separate charge, ranging from $75 to $250 on average for complete cleaning.
Should You Clean Your Gutters Yourself?
Gutter cleaning is a time-consuming and dangerous task. For safety purposes and to ensure your gutter system is kept in working order, we don’t recommend homeowners partake in do-it-yourself (DIY) cleaning of their gutters.
In fact, we’ve had many courageous clients climb a long ladder up to the roof of their two-stories homes with the intent of cleaning their gutters.
Of course, that is until they looked down and realized they were too high for their liking. Instead, they shakingly climb down and give our gutter experts a call to do the job.
Our pros will save you from having to get overwhelmed with heights and will save you time. Plus, they will also be able to do better than you. Let’s face it – they clean gutters every day and have much more experience in cleaning and unclogging gutters (not to mention special tools that make much quicker work of it).
How Our Pros Clean Gutters
For most people, gutter cleaning sounds like a mundane task. And while some people find it boring, our gutter experts find joy in removing a blockage and getting your gutters draining correctly.
Our regional offices and gutter experts all have unique approaches to cleaning gutters, but they all use the basic materials – buckets, hoses, ladders, scoops, plumbers snake, sealant, and unclogging tools.
Here are the basic steps gutter cleaning experts use to clean gutters and downspouts.
Set Up a Ladder
The first thing gutter cleaners do is position their sturdy ladders to access your gutters from the top. They will bring along a bucket, gutter scoop, and other tools to get our gutters clean.
They will be moving the ladder often to get to different portions of your gutters.
They will always place their ladders on a sturdy surface to avoid falling and wear long-sleeved shirts with work pants along with rubber gloves to avoid getting cut and dirty.
Once the gutter pro climbs the ladder up to the height of your gutter (around the fascia boards), they can start removing debris.
They will take out large branches and twigs with their hands and use a special gutter scoop to remove gunk and decomposing leaves.
The gutter technician will scoop and put other debris in a five-gallon bucket to remove it safely from your home. However, if there is a lot of gunk, they will spread a tarp out over the ground and toss your gutter gunk from the roof onto the tarp (which will also protect your yard and landscaping).
Sometimes they will use a leaf blower to remove loose debris from the gutters before using a scoop. This sometimes speeds up the process.
A leaf blower helps remove tons of leaves from your roof at once, which is typical with houses surrounded by trees. They then remove the rest with a scoop, shovel, or their hands.
Hose Down the Gutters
Once the gutter service professional finishes removing the buildup of physical debris, they will usually rinse out the gutters with a garden hose. This allows them to check for few things:
- Proper water flow and drainage
- Clog Identification
Alternatively, the gutter pro may use a pressure washer or a natural cleaning solution to deeper clean your gutters.
If the technician notices any leaking, sagging, clogged, or loose gutters, they will recommend a repair and could fix them on the spot.
Their attention to detail will ensure that your gutters are clean and clear before the rainy season or winter comes around – when you need the proper drainage the most.
Clean Your Gutters at the Right Intervals
Cleaning your gutters at least twice a year is essential, while some homes with nearby trees can benefit from a more frequent cleaning schedule. It helps prevent clogs, unflowing gutters, and other expensive damage to your home.
Why risk extensive and expensive damage to your home and property? Give us a call or fill out a form to schedule our professional gutter cleaning services to keep your home’s gutters running smoothly all year round!