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How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

Most homeowners know that their gutters need to be cleaned every so often. But it’s likely that everyone has a different idea of just how often they need to be cleaned. Is it once a year? Twice a year? Or should you just wait until you notice a problem? (Just kidding, don’t do that!)

How Often Should Homeowners Clean Their Gutters?

How often you clean your gutters largely depends on where you live. More specifically, it depends on what type of climate you live in, and what kind of plants are around your home.

If you live in a desert climate where it’s very hot and dry, chances are there aren’t a ton of plants and trees around. That means you can likely get away with cleaning your gutters just once a year since they aren’t filling up with leaves and other debris as quickly. Of course, if there’s a tree right beside your house that does lose its leaves, you might have to clean them more often. Red tiled roof with gutter and chimney

If you live in the woods, or a place surrounded by plenty of lush, green trees, you’re going to need to clean your gutters a whole lot more often than those who live in desert climates. Most leafy trees lose leaves, which will require you to clean your at least 2 times a year. The type of trees you have nearby also makes a difference—if you have trees like pine or any tree with needles, you might need to clean them 3 or 4 times a year. If you have a tree with falling blossoms, you might need an extra cleaning in spring.

Of course, if you live in a place with super cold winters, you might end up having to worry about ice dams building up in your gutters. This happens when water freezes and clogs up your gutters, which can block the flow of water. Once the water freezes, it can start to weigh down on your gutters, causing them to sag. If you think you might have ice dams in your gutters, it’s best to call in a professional to take care of it, since it can be dangerous to try and deal with the slippery surfaces on your own.

Icicles Melting Over Roof Edge Gutter

What Happens if You Don’t Do Regular Maintenance?

So, what happens if you forget to clean your gutters, or willfully decide to ignore them? Well, a whole lot can go wrong. If you neglect to take proper care of your gutters, you will likely end up with damaged gutters that need to be repaired or replaced. However, it can get much worse than having to pay for new gutters—you could end up causing damage to other parts of your house as well. If your gutters start to overflow, you could end up with some serious water damage. (All of these potential issues are pretty expensive to repair, we might add.)

Clogged Gutters and Downspouts

The main job of gutters is to keep water away from the foundation of your home. When your gutters become clogged, that water has to go somewhere. It usually drips down, where it can cause all sorts of problems. It could cause problems with your foundation, or end up seeping into your basement and causing varying amounts of water damage. It can also get in behind wooden siding and cause the wood to rot. If you’ve ever had to deal with any amount of water damage in your home, you know how difficult it can be to repair. You might also end up having to replace damaged items, which could be costly.

Mold and Mildew

Gutter Downspout with waterIf you continue to ignore those gutters because they seem fine structurally, there could be another problem brewing inside the gutters. When you leave debris to sit in your gutters, it can start to grow mold and mildew. While this might not seem like a huge problem at first, what you need to know is that mold spreads very quickly. It can easily spread to the inside of your home, causing a host of issues, the most concerning being health problems. Many people are allergic to mold, and it can make you quite sick. It’s also tricky and expensive to get rid of, so it’s best to stop it before it starts.

Roof Damage

If there’s one thing most homeowners want to avoid replacing, it’s probably their roof. It can be quite a disruptive process. So if you want to keep your roof in good condition, you’ll want to make sure your gutters are in good shape. If you let those gutters get clogged up, overflowing water can end up seeping onto the roof. When this happens, you could end up with leaks, which will cause damage to your roof and the inside of your home. Water damage is difficult to deal with, and as you likely already know, it’s usually pretty expensive.

Mouldy Gutter that is leaking when rains

So, if you want to ensure your home stays happy and healthy for as long as possible, it’s important to keep those gutters clean!

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