When clearing your garden and lawn of fallen leaves, how often do you consider that the gutters needs the same clean up? Due to its location, it is easy to forget about it and live with the assumption that the wind will eventually blow the leaves off. However, as seasons change, it is important to remember that the leaves, if not cleared, will clog the gutter. This is especially true during winter. You should be wary when water fails to drain as it should because of a clogged gutter. It is not only messy but it will eventually cause damage to your property. It is, therefore, important to carry out periodic cleaning of the gutter if water is to drain as planned when the gutter was installed.

Importance of gutter cleaning

Protect your roof from damage

A leaking roof can be quite frustrating. What starts out as a neglected gutter could easily result into a damaged roof, especially during winter. When ice fills the gutters, it will find its way through the roof and the heat from the house will cause it to melt. This water will have no where to drain since the gutter would be clogged. The likely result is the water leaking through your roof system. If this is left to go on for a long time, the end result would be damage to your property. Sometimes this damage could be so extensive, it would cost an arm to carry out repairs. All this can be avoided by carrying out regular cleaning of the gutter.

Protect the foundation of your property

One of the agents that often cause damage to your home is water, especially if the draining channel is not well planned. When the gutter is not able to drain water as was intended, there is likely to be an overflow which will keep pouring in the same area constantly. Over time, this pouring water will seep through your foundation resulting in cracks or a weakened foundation. This is very risky and should not be allowed to continue if you would like to save your property. The gutter will need to be unclogged and cleaned as required based on the season to ensure your property’s life span is not reduced due to negligence.

Prevent damage of the gutter

If left unattended, the gutters will keep collecting leaves, which may initially seem inconsequential but if it rains or snows, the weight becomes considerable. The gutter is designed to allow free flow of water, not to store it. The weight of water which is retained in the gutters is likely to become too heavy. Besides the water, there is also a lot of debris which can weigh a ton if the gutter is left uncleaned for a long time. This weight will lead the gutter to detach from the fascia. This is not only unsightly but the fascia will need to be replaced together with the gutter depending on the damage caused. Regular cleaning will save you from going through this.

It will save you spending money on repairs later

The amount of money it will cost you to clean the gutters today is nothing compared to what it will cost should your home suffer extensive damage caused by neglect of the gutters. It is best to include gutter cleaning in your regular budget to ensure you do not forget to work on it as is required. This way you can have the peace of mind knowing you will not have to incur unexpected costs of repairs.

Gutters, if well taken care of, can last a very long time. If neglected and the weight of water due to clogged outlets is ignored, the gutters will eventually give way. At the very least you will need to repair the gutters, at the worst, you will need to repair your roof. These are costs that can be avoided if you opt to clean the gutters regularly.

Destroy possible breeding ground for pests and rodents

The debris that usually gets collected in the gutters can become breeding ground for pests and rodents. The pests use these debris to make nests. They can be a nuisance as this can be their entry into your home if the gutter pulls away from the roof. Due to clogging, stagnant water can also be a cause of worry as it can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. If left unattended, you will not only be left to deal with ruined gutters, you will need the services of an exterminator when the pests invade your home.

How often should you clean the gutters?

Although it is great to have a schedule to ensure you do not forget to clean your gutters, sometimes you need more than a schedule, especially if the quantity of debris changes suddenly. Rather than using a schedule, sometimes it is best to see if your gutter needs cleaning or not. How often you clean your gutters depends on several factors.

  • If you have many trees in the area, especially close to the house where lots of the shedding falls on the roof, you may need to clean your gutters more frequently than a person who has fewer trees or trees that are further from the house.
  • A storm may also necessitate cleaning of the gutters, especially if this was unexpected. This is because storms tend to bring in debris from elsewhere even if you do not have trees with branches hanging over your house. When there is a storm, it is best to find out what possible damages may arise from it even if the impact is not felt immediately. The one place you absolutely have to check is your gutters.
  • The position of your home also plays a critical role. If your home is located downhill, leaves and other debris will likely be blown your way from the homes and trees uphill. Your home may need to have the gutters cleaned more frequently than the houses uphill because most of the debris will be deposited on your roof.