How Often Should I Clean My Gutters?
The average American dedicates 21 hours — nearly a full day — to home-related to-dos over the course of each month, according to 2019 research. That same research found that they spend even more time tending to their yards: 32 hours in a month, on average.
Another yard-related task should be part of this lengthy list of maintenance projects that homeowners and renters routinely perform. Gutter cleaning is a must-do, but you may not know why or, more importantly, how often you should empty them.
Here’s everything you need to know if you’re wondering, “When — and why — should I clean my gutters?”
How Often Should I Clean My Gutters?
We’re already touched on the topic of time, so let’s discuss the first question you have: how often should you clean your gutters?
Multiple factors will help us to determine the answer to this question. Every house is different, and some will need their gutters cleaned more often than others.
The frequency with which you need to clean your gutters depends on:
- The condition of your gutters: newer gutters probably come with more bells and whistles (more on that later), and these add-ons will make it so that you don’t have to clean them as often.
- The number of trees and branches overhead, as more overhanging foliage will make it easier for leaves, sticks, and other debris to fall into your gutters, creating build-up.
- The local weather: if you live somewhere with four seasons, you’ll have more foliage falling into your gutters than somewhere that’s hot or cold year-round.
- Gutter protectors cover the tops of your gutters and keep debris from falling in.
How Do These Factors Affect My Gutter Cleaning Schedule?
As we’ve said above, older or damaged gutters will probably have more kinks and places for debris to build up. They will require your attention more often.
The same goes for a house set under or around lots of trees and foliage. Again, this going to mean your gutters will fill up with natural debris more quickly, and you’ll have to clean them more often.
The good news is that if you live somewhere with a steady climate or if you have gutter protectors, your cleaning schedule will be less frequent. Without leaves falling each autumn — and with a barrier between your gutters and those leaves — rainwater will flow freely for longer.
So… How Often Must I Clean My Gutters?
Let’s talk specifics. The average person will want to clean their gutters at least twice every year. This job includes cleaning the gutters on your roof, as well as the downspouts through which rainwater drains.
People with lots of trees overhead — especially pine trees — will want to bump that up to cleanings once every quarter. On the other hand, gutter covers can save you a bit of elbow grease. Those with this type of protector in place will only have to clean their gutters once a year, or even twice a year.
When Should I Do the Job?
There are certain household tasks that make sense to do in a particular season. Where do gutter cleanings fall into that lineup?
If, based on the above information, you feel that you need to clean your gutters twice a year, then you should do so at the end of fall and the start of the spring. You will want all of that debris out of your gutter before winter when things get cold and icy. You don’t want a giant clog of ice and leaves in your gutters when snow needs to melt and drain off your roof.
At the end of winter — and at the start of spring — it’s a good idea to check again and make sure that there’s no lingering autumnal or winter debris. Spring brings plenty of rain, after all, and you want to make sure your gutters can clear it off of your roof as efficiently as possible.
Why Do I Need to Clean My Gutters, Anyway?
Perhaps you need a little more incentive to clean your gutters. It’s not the easiest or most fun home improvement project, but it’s a vital one. Here’s why.
Your gutter cleaning will keep gutters from getting clogged, as you know. But it’s also a great time for you to inspect your gutter system and ensure there aren’t any loose, broken, or leaky gutters.
Whether your gutters are clogged or dysfunctional, they could cause huge — and expensive — problems. Water pooling on the roof can cause damage to its strength and structure. It costs thousands of dollars to replace a roof.
Water standing in or overflowing from your gutters can seep into your home’s walls or foundation, too. This can cause structural damage, too, but you may also be allowing mold, mildew, algae, and debris into your abode.
Keep in mind, too, that a clogged gutter system may become too damaged to fix with a simple cleaning. Replacing your home’s gutters can cost nearly $2,000, on average. We imagine you’d be happy to put in a bit of work to save that much money.
I Still Want Some Help With Gutter Cleaning
When you’ve realized, “It’s time to clean my gutters,” you may realize that you want a little help with the task. Those gutter protectors we mentioned before sound extra handy, right?
Contact us to learn more about this treatment that can save you DIY time — and protect your home from damage for years to come.