When and How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

[fa icon="calendar"] January 08, 2021 / by Home Services Expert

gutter with leavesAt Experts In You Home, we’re big on home maintenance. Our passion is to help you keep your home well maintained – whether you hire us for the job or just learn from us. One area of home maintenance that no homeowner wants to neglect is gutter cleaning.

It can be easy to ignore clogged gutters…out of sight out of mind right? However, when gutters get clogged with dirt, roofing particles, sticks and leaves, it can cause major problems for your home. Make sure to prioritize gutter cleaning in your home this year.

First, let’s get specific about the damage that clogged gutters can cause:

Types of Damage from Clogged Gutters

In a previous blog written by Experts In Your Home, we detailed the problems clogged gutters can have, including:

  • Clogged gutters can cause your basement to leak. In fact, they are one of the primary causes of basement and crawl space “water problems,” including (in order of severity) leaks, dampness, mold, mildew and humidity. All of these conditions can occur when clogged gutters overflow and the water accumulates around the foundation.
  • Clogged gutters can cause your foundation to crack. Now a chain reaction has begun, and it's easy to see why: loose dirt under a foundation settles over time. But when one area settles more quickly than others, exacerbated by water, the additional stress can trigger cracks in the foundation. And if you think interior water damage is expensive to repair, you don't want to see the bill for repairing a faulty foundation.
  • Clogged gutters can compromise your driveway, patio and walkways. The same dynamic can erode the dirt under asphalt, concrete and paver stones, triggering not only cracks but settling, sags and surface collapse.
  • Clogged gutters attract termites, mosquitoes and other outdoor pests. Termites are drawn to standing water in gutters because they need water to survive. Mosquitoes lay eggs in stagnant water and so are drawn to open pools of water. And birds, mice and squirrels are lured to the sustenance of water, and the determined ones may find may find a way to take up permanent residence in your home by clawing their way into your attic.
  • Clogged gutters can damage your home's exterior and especially the roof shingles, soffit, fascia and wood frame or trim. Over time, dry rot can develop. (See our previous article, “Home Tips: How to Detect and Repair Dry Rot In Your Home” for assistance with this issue.)


The Best Time of Year to Clean Your Gutters

When it comes to cleaning your gutters, there are recommended times of year. In general most experts say to clean your gutters in the spring and fall. According to The Home Depot,

“Cleaning gutters in early spring will prepare them for the heavy spring and summer rains. In the early fall, clear out leaves and other debris that accumulated during the warmer months.”

In the Chico area, it may make more sense to clean your gutters later in the fall since our leaves hang on a bit longer. Either way, it’s a good idea to take a look at your gutters and make sure they are cleaned each spring and again in the fall to prepare for winter rains.


How Often do You really Need to Clean Your Gutters?

Is cleaning your gutters twice a year really enough? That will depend on where you live and what type of trees you have. For example, experts at Angie’s List say

“Twice a year if you have oak trees. If you have pine trees, they may need to be cleaned quarterly, because pines shed a lot.”

A visual inspection 4 times a year will give you a good idea of what you’re dealing with in terms of gutter clogs and debris. The important thing is that you don’t ignore clogged gutters!


Need Help with Your Gutter Cleaning?

At Experts In Your Home we are always happy to help you with your home maintenance projects, and that includes gutter cleaning in Chico and surrounding areas! If you would like to sit back and have your gutters cleaned by professionals, contact us today for a free quote!

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