Have you recently looked up and noticed that the rain seems to be running down the side of your house instead of into the downspout like it should? You might need to clean your gutters, and you probably want to look into roofing contractors.
The real question is this: How often should you have your gutters cleaned? The first step? Here are a few tips that will help you to decide how often you should clean your gutters so that your house stays as clean as possible.
Factors that Contribute to Frequency
Unfortunately there is no easy answer as to how frequently you should clean your gutters. You have to make a judgment call based upon a few different factors, which can include:
- The number of trees around your home
- Animals or small insects in the neighborhood
- Weather conditions at different times of the year
- Other dirt and debris in the area
While most homeowners wait until their gutters are noticeably clogged for a cleaning, it’s a good idea to periodically check them for debris, especially if you live in a neighborhood featuring any of the items on the above list.
What Clogs up Your Gutters?
So why do you even need to clean them in the first place? Primarily, while your gutters are designed to catch all of the rainwater that flows off of your roof, they are also very good at catching other things that might be around your house.
Leaves are a the number one culprit when it comes to gutter clogs. Even if you don’t have a tree in your yard, wind and other weather conditions can bring your neighbors’ leaves into your gutters. Once the leaves get in there and get wet, they turn into gunk, which settles and clogs. Now the rainwater has to compete with all of the other stuff that isn’t supposed to be in there.
Dry leaves can also make a great place for small animals and insects to make a home. They can make the problem worse by bunching up leaves and other debris, causing direct blockage in your gutters.
Timing is Everything
The second part to the question of how often to clean your rain gutters is a matter of timing. If you clean your gutters out in the beginning of the fall, you’ll certainly need to clean them again before the winter comes because the fall leaves will end up inside them.
Cleaning your gutters after the winter, in the early spring, will ensure that they are ready to handle the spring rains.
Cleaning them in the middle of the summer? That might not make as much sense, unless there is a specific problem like nesting birds or ants.
So How Often is Enough?
In a perfect world, you would have your gutters cleaned whenever you experience slower flow than normal. But that isn’t practical, so plan on having it done the middle to end of fall and in the early spring, as a good starting point.
If you live in an area that has lots of tree coverage or other plants, you may want to consider a mid fall or even a late summer cleaning just to get things prepared.
Clean Your Gutters Regularly and Avoid Problems
Like any home maintenance task, keeping your gutters functioning properly is easier when you give them a little regular attention. Clean your gutters before and after every seasonal change to save yourself a lot of hassle and aggravation.