What Time of Year Should You Clean Out Your Gutters?
Gutters are essential for a home's well-being as they guide rain and stormwater away from the house's foundation and off the roof. But many are unsure of the best times to clean out their gutters.
Why You Should Have Your Gutters Cleaned
There is a multitude of issues that can arise from not cleaning your gutters out. In extreme cases, the water that falls along the building's foundation can lead to structural failure.
Other issues such as a flooded basement, driveway destruction, and pests can also be caused when your gutters are not cleaned out properly.
Gutters are designed to help with these issues. When rain falls, the gutter system leads the water away from the foundation. Without a functioning gutter system, even the softest rain will build upon a roof and hammer the ground close to your foundation, eroding the soil over time.
When this occurs, houses could begin settling, or significant damage may be caused to the foundation. Basement leaks are also a common issue when gutters are clogged for long periods.
All of these could lead to costly repairs and dangerous instability of the structure.
When a gutter is clogged, moisture will build up in the leaves and debris stuck in them. With the gutters attaching to the roof, this moisture can seep into the shingles touching the gutter system. Once these shingles become damaged, it leads to unwanted and damaging moisture in the roofing structure, which can be very costly.
Ice and Algae
When a gutter is clogged, it can build up algae and moss. These hold moisture, and they can create mold and expensive damage to the roof. The excess humidity locked in place by debris can also make unwanted ice during the winter, becoming heavy enough to detach the gutter from the roof.
Over time, this erosion of the soil can lead to structural instability. That rainwater sent from your roof can also cause ditches by pooling in low-lying areas, cut pathways through your yard, and even kill lawns.
Moisture is a breeding ground for all kinds of pests, including mosquitoes. These pests can ruin the joy of a beautiful backyard and carry diseases. When a gutter is not cleaned out, it could be a breeding ground for these and other nuisances.
Best Time to Clean Gutters
There are many items of a home that need regular cleaning, and gutters are no exception. Many professions agree that spring and fall are the best times to clean your gutter.
Gutters should be cleaned a minimum of twice a year. But if there are trees near the home, more may be advised. Homes near pine trees are recommended to have their gutters cleaned every three months.
Cleaning out your gutters in early spring makes way for any spring rainfall and lets the gutters drain properly. The leaves will be crisp and dry in early fall, making this the perfect time to clean them out before they get soggy and frozen from winter.
Should I Clean My Gutters Myself?
There are two options when it comes to cleaning your gutters. You can do the job yourself with a tall ladder, or you can hire a professional.
Many, especially in Texas areas such as Austin and Dallas, find it easier to entrust their gutter cleaning to the professionals. Texas is known for its extreme heat and varied weather, regardless of the season. This can lead to heatstroke, heat exhaustion, or oversight of essential things to look out for.
When a professional clean your gutters, they will know to look out for damage that could indicate that your gutter system needs to be repaired or replaced.
Once all the debris is cleaned out, they will inspect the system for cracks, splits, mold, rust, or sagging gutters. If these things are unnoticed by the untrained eye, it could further damage the system and even the home.
How to Clean Gutters
Should you decide to clean your own gutters, there are some essential tools you will want to invest in. Depending on your home size, you will need a ladder tall enough to reach the top of your home.
While technically, this is the only thing you would be required to have, there are also the tools for the cleaning process, which make it much more manageable. Rubber or work gloves are advised since a build-up of pine needs, or sticks can damage your hands quickly.
Hardware stores carry many tools, such as gutter sweepers and cleaning kits, that can make the dangerous task of cleaning a gutter easier.
However, even with these tools, over 200,000 Americans find themselves in the ER annually from trying to clean their own gutters.
Should Homeowners Clean Their Own Gutters?
Cleaning out your own gutters can be a great DIY, but it can also be risky. There are several issues a homeowner may face once they climb up that ladder to the top of their home.
Falling from the ladder is the most significant risk, but you may also find other issues when cleaning. Homeowners often suffer from scrapes, cuts, and strained muscles during their efforts of cleaning their gutters. Worse, there may be unsuspected surprises waiting on your roof like beehives, animals, or hornets' nests.
Whether you hire a professional or clean your gutters yourself, it is not something that should be put off. Many people find hiring a professional to be the best choice to avoid the hassle and ensure the gutter system runs optimally and there is no damage to the home.
Shine is proud to serve multiple locations throughout the country, including Texas's Austin and Dallas areas. We offer free quotes and a satisfaction guarantee in all our services, including cleaning windows, gutters, roofs, entire-house pressure washing, and getting those seasonal lights perfect.