How Often Should I Clean My Gutters?
Everyone seems to have a different opinion on how often you should clean your gutters. This is probably because every gutter may require a different cleaning frequency. No two gutters are the same, because no two houses are the same. That being said, some factors can help you determine the best gutter cleaning regimen for your home. Keep reading to learn how often you should clean your own gutters.
Gutter cleaning is essential to maintain proper stormwater drainage for your home. Dirty and clogged gutters can cause water damage, flooding, and contaminated runoff.
One home might barely require gutter cleaning. Another home might need its gutters cleaned daily. The difference between these two homes is likely a combination of the following factors. Here are the top three things to consider when determining how often to clean your gutters.
Consider what climate you live in. This will greatly affect your gutter condition. More specifically, different seasons may require a change in how often you have to clean your gutters. For example, an extremely windy and rainy winter may warrant daily gutter cleaning. A dry and warm summer may leave your gutters not needing cleaning but once a month or less.
Trees and critters are often the culprits of dirty gutters. If you have birds or other wildlife that likes to hang out on your roof and gutters, you’ll need to maintain your gutters more frequently, cleaning out animal excrement, feathers, and fur.
Often the most bothersome source of dirty gutters is foliage and tree droppings. A big tree near your house can be lovely to look at, but it can quickly produce piles of leaves, branches, and seeds in your gutters. Keep in mind that this often depends on the season and wind patterns.
There are several types of gutters out there, believe it or not. From aluminum to copper and round to rectangular, each type may require different maintenance. Additionally, some gutters have covers or screens, which can reduce the required amount of cleaning. Manually inspect your gutters if you don’t know which kind you have and what its needs are.
Despite what any expert may say, you know your gutters best. You should be able to tell when they need to be cleaned. Check often for these signs that it’s time for a gutter cleaning:
- Overflowing gutters
- Signs of water damage, leaks, or flooding on your roof, siding, yard, or pavement
- Gutters pulling away from your roof or walls
- Sagging gutters
- Dented or broken gutters
- Decreased flow from downspouts during rain or snow
- Visible dirt and debris build-up in gutters
If you’re still unclear on how often to clean your gutters, take a look at some of these hypothetical scenarios of gutter cleaning requirements at different frequencies. When in doubt, go with the example you most identify with and adjust as necessary.
It’s fall, and you have a large pine tree next to your house. You find your gutters filled with pine needle droppings every day. It’s a good idea to clean them every day or two so that when the next rain inevitably comes, water can move freely through your gutters.
If your area gets frequent snow and rain during the winter, check and clean your gutters at least once a week to make sure they’re clear, rust-free, and functioning properly.
You have a friendly family of birds that likes to hang in your gutters. One to two gutter cleanings per month will prevent the bird poop and debris from causing any damage.
You like somewhere that has a moderate climate year-round and no large shedding trees on your property. It’s a good idea to clean your gutters one to two times per year to keep them in good condition.
Part of being a responsible homeowner or tenant is keeping your gutters clean. Clean gutters lead to less water damage and flooding issues. Every home can have slightly different gutter cleaning requirements. Use the tips discussed in this article to help determine how often you should clean your gutters. At the end of the day, you should check your gutters as often as possible and use your common sense to get a sense of how much you should be cleaning them.