Spring is officially here! Even if it’s not quite warm enough to shrug off the coats and sweaters just yet, it is a good time to start thinking about spring home maintenance.
That probably has you thinking about cleaning your windows, and power washing your deck to get it ready for summer. While those are important things to take care of in spring, there’s also another bit of maintenance that often gets overlooked in spring: gutter cleaning.
If you thought you only had to worry about gutter cleaning in the late fall, you’re not alone. It’s a common misconception. Exactly how often you need them cleaned varies a great deal based on where you live. If you happen to live in an area with lots of evergreen trees, you’ll probably need to get them done 2 or 3 times a year, since these trees continue to drop leaves and needles all year round. Weather can play a big factor too; a particularly fierce spring storm can easily fill your gutters with leaves and debris, leaving you with an overflow situation.
Aside from trees, nature has a few other ways to clog up your gutters. Animals can cause gutter debris too. The most common culprits are birds, who often drop things mid-flight, which often land in gutters. It’s not all that strange to find things like bones, rocks, nesting materials, and even small toys in gutters, thanks to the work of local birds.
If you leave your gutters cluttered with all that debris, you run the risk of rodents making a comfy home in there too. Mice, rats, and other rodents have been known to bunk down in gutters, which can cause a whole bunch of problems. That alone is a great reason to keep your gutters clear all year round!
To help give you an idea of just how often you should be thinking about gutter maintenance, we’ve come up with a suggested yearly schedule:
Late fall: A proper cleaning after most of the leaves have fallen helps to keep things clear for winter rain and snow storms.
Winter: (optional): A touch up in late December in November might be necessary if your area has seen any harsh storms.
Spring: Another cleaning in March or April helps keep things clear for all those April showers.
If you keep up with regular maintenance, you’ll likely never run into problems with overflowing gutters, and they’ll last you a lot longer.