Well, hello there. You’ve probably arrived at this page for one of two reasons:
- You’re wondering if it’s time to clean the gutters. (Yes, it is.)
- Someone you love asked you to clean the gutters, and you’re wondering if she’s right. (Yes, she is. Always.)
You might not be excited about gutter cleaning, but it’s a task you’ve got to get done anyway. Here is everything you need to know about the best time of year to clean gutters, and how to do it safely and easily.
WHEN TO CLEAN OUT GUTTERS
Your home’s gutters do more than collect water. They protect your home by channeling rainwater away from your roof, walls, and foundation, where it can do damage. When your gutters are filled with leaves, muck, and pine needles, they can’t do their job. This is where the trouble starts.
You can head trouble off by knowing when to clean your gutters.
THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO CLEAN GUTTERS
The best time of year to clean gutters is in the fall and spring.
In the fall, gutters fill with leaves, twigs, needles, and other debris. As the season progresses, more and more of this matter fills your gutters. If you don’t clean them out, all this muck is going to clog them. Then when the autumn rains roll in, your gutters overflow and can’t do their job channeling water away from your home. This turns into big trouble as temperatures drop. When water sits in your gutters and then freezes, it can cause serious damage to your roof and home.
Spring is also a good time to clean your gutters. This is especially true if you neglected it last fall or live near trees that drop blossoms and seeds in the spring. Think of silver maples, for instance, with their tiny light-brown helicopter seed pods. These can come raining down in May and June, filling your gutters and keeping them from doing their job properly.
If there are pine trees on your property, you might need to clean a bit more frequently—every three months or so. Although pine trees are not deciduous—meaning that they don’t drop their leaves once a year—they do shed needles throughout the year. These tiny needles can get into your gutters and affect drainage.
Finally, it’s a good idea to clean out gutters after any big storms that pass through in fall or spring. These storms can sweep seeds, blossoms, leaves, and needles into your gutters, clogging them.
In short, the best time of year to clean gutters is fall and spring in most cases, with selective gutter cleaning at other times of the year.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS?
Delaying or skipping gutter cleaning can lead to big problems, and even thousands of dollars in damage. These problems include:
- Lower story water damage, including leaks in your basement or foundation
- Water and ice dams in your gutters
- Damage to soffits, fascia, and your roofline—cosmetic or functional
- Insect or rodent infestation (that stuff in the gutter has major curb appeal for mice, mosquitoes, and much more)
- Mold and mildew, which can also spread to the wood in soffits and roofing substrate
- Wasted landscape material like topsoil and mulch, which can get washed away when your gutters and downspouts are clogged
Want to avoid all these problems? This takes us back to the best time of year to clean gutters: fall and spring. Let’s talk about the best way to clean gutters.
SAFETY TIPS FOR CLEANING OUT GUTTERS
Gutter cleaning can be dangerous. Climbing a ladder while carrying a hose, bucket, and other tools can increase the risk of missteps and falls. Gutters and the screws holding them to your home can have sharp edges, which can slice your hands. It’s a messy job, too, with all that muck. This is why there aren’t many people who really look forward to this task. (We get it.)
Gutter cleaning tools can make the job easier, but many gutter cleaning tools still require you to climb a ladder. Even if you’re experienced in ladder use or have someone to hold it, you’re still at risk of an accident. And you’ll need to wear eye protection and gloves while cleaning the gutters.
There is a safer, easier way to clean gutters without climbing a ladder, with Gutter Sense. This lightweight, easy-to-use tool attaches to a 12- to 20-foot standard extension pole to help you reach second-story gutters without climbing a ladder. It’s highly effective on pine needles, leaves, and muck, making regular gutter cleaning easy and safe.
With Gutter Sense, you’ll be ready to tackle regular gutter cleaning, easily and safely. So, you can enjoy those falling leaves, autumn storms, spring helicopters and more, knowing you’re taking care of your home with two feet safely planted on the ground.