You know you need to keep your gutters clear so they function properly. When leaves and other debris obstruct your gutters, water can’t exit out the downspout as efficiently. Instead, water pools inside your gutters, weighing them down. The extra weight may pull your gutters off of your home, or the extra water could slosh out of the gutters and down the side of your house.
In either scenario, water damage could occur-but you already know this. You just don’t know how often you should check your gutters so you keep them clean long before they reach the critical point. Luckily, we have the answers for you, and you’ll find them all below.
How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?
The answer to this question depends on how many trees you have and how close they sit to your gutters. If you have many trees, or if your trees sit close enough to dangle over your roof, then you need to clean your gutters at least quarterly. If you have fewer trees that don’t sit next to your home, you can clean out your gutters approximately twice a year.
However, you might want to check your gutters more frequently during the fall. If you see a lot of leaves on the ground, chances are that you have plenty of leaves in your gutters too. If you have plenty of trees, check your gutters at least twice a month during the fall, if not once a week. With this strategy, you can catch any leafy buildup before it becomes problematic.
How Should You Clean Your Gutters?
Before you start, make sure you have someone to help you. You should never climb a ladder or work on the roof without someone there to spot you. Another person can hold the ladder and respond in an emergency.
Additionally, make sure you gather the necessary safety equipment before you climb up to your roof. You need sturdy boots, protective gloves, and a hard hat if possible. Scoop the leaves out by hand when you get up to the roof, and move the ladder when you need to start on a new section instead of leaning over. You should not use hard rakes or hoes to gather the leaves as these tools could damage your gutters.
Once you’ve removed the leaves and other debris, you can put them in your compost pile or bin. You can also spread them around your flowerbeds so the leaves decompose and release nutrients that benefit next year’s plants.
Should a Professional Clean Your Gutters?
Maybe the thought of climbing up to your roof intimidates you. That’s okay. You can and should call a professional to do gutter cleaning for you if you don’t feel confident. Additionally, even if you do feel confident, you should consider calling a professional to inspect your gutters at least once a year. He or she may notice developing problems that you might miss.
Experts also know when a gutter needs repair or replacement in addition to a thorough cleaning. The sooner the professionals catch these problems, the less you’ll have to pay for repairs. If you have older gutters, call your local professionals for a gutter cleaning instead of doing it yourself.
How Can You Prevent Future Leaf Buildup?
You don’t have to deal with gutter cleaning every year if you purchase a filtration hood to fit over the trough. The hood allows water to still go into the gutter and out the downspout, but leaves and other debris will simply fall off the roof and onto the surrounding lawn or flowerbed. You won’t need to clean multiple times a year-instead, you’ll just have to gather the leaves that collect around your foundation.
To learn more about how to solve common gutter problems, check out our previous blog post.