How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?
Gutters are like doorknobs — you might not think about them much, but they’re an important part of a functional home, and they’re used every day without you even realizing it. Gutters collect runoff rainwater and melted snow from your roof and transfer it to the ground through a downspout, instead of letting it pool around your foundation causing issues. While this may seem like an unimportant task, keeping excess water off your roof and away from your home is essential in preventing water damage, mold, pests and foundation damage.
That’s why keeping your gutters clean is essential. Gutters can become clogged over time with leaves, twigs and other debris, especially if your home is located near trees or other types of foliage. Clogged gutters are unable to properly drain water, which can lead to the aforementioned issues as well as damage to the gutters themselves. If you gutters become too weighed down and damaged, they can even tear away from your house. Cleaning and maintaining your gutters prevents this and keeps them functioning optimally.
The thought of cleaning your own gutters, however, can be intimidating or downright annoying. Since gutters are located around the rims of your roof, reaching them requires a ladder or other methods of elevation, which can be dangerous if you’re unused to them. Once you reach your gutters, you have to clean them, which can involve removing leaves, twigs, mold and more, all while potentially dealing with insects, mice, birds or other pests.
If you’re nervous to climb a tall ladder or balk at the idea of digging your hands into rotting leaves, a professional gutter cleaner is just what you need. If you’re not sure where to find a professional gutter cleaner, then read on to learn more about A Better Gutter Cleaning (ABGC) and what we can do to keep your gutters clean and in full repair.
What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Gutters?
You might think that keeping your gutters clean isn’t as important as it’s made out to be, or that you don’t need to clean them frequently. However, minor clogs build up over time, eventually leading to much bigger problems. If these problems persist, they won’t just affect your gutters, but your home as well. Here are a few of the consequences of not properly cleaning your gutters:
- Leaky gutters: This is the most obvious consequence. If your gutters are clogged, they won’t be able to drain water properly. The water will pool and eventually overflow — or even worse, the buildup will crack your gutters and cause them to leak and needing replacement.
- Leaking roof: When water overflows from your gutters, it typically will overflow in front of the gutter and behind the gutter. Going behind the gutter, the water can enter the construction gap rotting out your soffit and even coming into the walls damaging the drywall. If the gutters themselves tear away from your house after accumulating water and debris, this can also damage your roof.
- Mold: The debris that collects inside your gutters doesn’t just sit there until it’s removed. Natural debris like leaves, twigs and even insect carcasses will eventually rot, especially when it’s left to sit in still water. This can lead to mold growing inside your gutters, which both makes your gutters visibly dirtier and can be detrimental to your health if it makes its way inside your home.
- Pests: Decomposing leaves and still water are the perfect breeding ground for insects. If you don’t clean your gutters regularly, you may soon find them infested with mosquitos or other pests. Even if it’s too dry for insects, mice and birds may also take up residence if they find enough leaves and twigs waiting for them.
- Driveway and yard damage: Water collecting in your gutters can eventually damage your driveway and yard. Standing water and debris can cause mold, which can grow down your gutters and into the plants in your yard. The water can also pool in your yard and driveway, leading to waterlogged earth, dead plants and ice hazards in the winter.
- Basement flooding: Another place overflow water can end up in is your basement. Water can seep down the sides of your house and into your basement or crawlspace, where it can cause water damage or lead to mold growth. The water damage can also effect your furnace, circuit breakers or other utilities if they’re within range of the leaking.
- Cracked foundation: If the water seepage gets bad enough, it can permeate into the foundation of your home. In the winter, it freezes and expands, creating cracks. These cracks can lead to framing and roofing issues, issues with your doors and windows, and basement flooding. It also makes it that much more difficult to sell your house, should you choose to do so.
- Dirty appearance: While not as severe as water damage or a pest infestation, dirty gutters can make your house look unkempt. In particular, mold makes your gutters look dirty and unappealing to others, which is especially problematic if you’re looking to sell your house.
How to Identify Damage to Your Gutters
If you’re suffering from any of the above issues, it’s safe to say that your gutters might be damaged, or at least in need of cleaning. However, these are all issues caused by accumulated clogging and damage, and once they appear, your gutters usually need to be replaced. These repairs take time and money, and in cases of larger jobs like repairing cracked foundations, can be extremely costly.
If you’d rather not empty your wallet repairing these issues, it’s important to keep an eye out for early signs of gutter clogs or damage. Thankfully, there are a few early indicators that will help you save time and money on costly repairs:
- Aging: No matter how well-maintained your gutters are, they’re as susceptible to aging as other parts of your home. Gutters typically last fifteen to twenty years before they need to be replaced. This time can be shortened if you’re in an area that experiences regular storms, which can batter your gutters as well as weigh them down with regular water and debris. If your gutters are old and and especially if they haven’t been routinely checked, they’re more likely to be damaged.
- Pooling: If your gutters aren’t draining water properly, it may pool on your lawn, your driveway or in the gutters themselves. If you regularly get puddles in these areas, it’s time to check your gutters for clogs. Leaving these puddles can kill your plants or create ice hazards in the winter.
- Leaking: Water leaking inside your house is another indicator that your gutters aren’t functioning properly. These leaks can come through your roof or from your basement. If you find water in these areas, especially if you haven’t received extremely heavy rains recently, checking your gutters is a good idea. Checking at the first sign of water can prevent the leaks from growing larger and damaging the inside of your home.
- Dripping: If your gutters are overflowing or cracked, then they’re most likely going to drip. If you notice water dripping from the sides or bottoms of your gutters, check them for clogs or cracks.
- Mold: Once mold begins growing in your gutters, it can spread along the sides, making them appear much dirtier. If you see mold growing on or around your gutters, they’re overdue for a cleaning. At this point, it’s also important to check that the mold hasn’t spread to your lawn or inside your home, as it can be detrimental to your health.
As well as these early warning signs, there are also the more obvious ways to check your gutters. If you can see a large amount of leaves or sticks inside them when you view your gutters from the ground, or if you notice a heavy concentration of insects, mice, and birds in them, then you might want to have them examined more closely. If you go outside and see that parts of your gutters are now on your lawn, this is an obvious sign of damage and should be corrected as soon as possible.
When to Clean Your Gutters
Even if you’re not experiencing any of the above signs, it’s important to have your gutters cleaned in order to prevent them from happening in the first place. It’s better to clean your gutters regularly than to wait until you have noticeable signs of clogging or damage. But now you might be wondering — how often should I check my gutters? After all, as important as keeping your gutters clean is, over-checking them only wastes your time and creates more things for you to worry about in regards to your home.
How often you should clean your gutters depends on the area you live in. Both your weather patterns and the trees surrounding your home can affect how quickly your gutters get clogged or damaged, but regardless of that, it’s recommended that you clean them at least twice a year, and up to 4 times a year or more. The best schedule for gutter cleaning in Atlanta is going to be December, March, June, and October.
Aside from routine maintenance, you should also check your gutters after major storms. Rainstorms will always introduce extra water to your gutters, but depending on the trees or foliage around your house, it could also knock down twigs, leaves and other debris. A large branch might even damage or knock down parts of your gutters. Checking your gutters after these storms will help you prevent continued damage and allow you to have current damage repaired promptly.
Checking your gutters after heavy storms as well as twice yearly may sound like a hassle. After all, every time you check your gutters, you have to climb a ladder or otherwise elevate yourself to get a proper look. If your gutters need cleaning, then you have to dig out leaves, twigs and debris on your own. And unless you’re a trained handyman, it’s likely that you won’t know how to properly repair your own gutters if they’ve been damaged, and damaged gutters usually just need to be replaced.
If you’re nervous or disheartened at the thought of regularly cleaning your own gutters, consider hiring a professional gutter cleaning service. With professional cleaning, you’ll avoid getting your hands dirty while knowing that the job is being done properly and your home will avoid water-related damage.
Contact A Better Gutter Cleaning in Atlanta, GA
Unless you plan to routinely check and clean your gutters yourself, you’re going to need a gutter cleaning service. Choosing the right one is important — you want quick, professional, reliable service so that you can rest easy knowing your gutters are in good hands. However, you may have heard stories about untrustworthy or unprofessional gutter cleaning services, and therefore be hesitant to hire one yourself.
Thankfully, we’ve got you covered. ABGC is a professional gutter cleaning service, one of the highest rated and fastest growing services in Atlanta. Unlike many inexperienced gutter cleaning services, we offer professional and trustworthy service, with appointment confirmation after you’ve scheduled, the day before the service, and after your service is complete. Once the service is done, you’ll be sent a secure online payment link, so it’s the easiest service you will schedule each year.
ABGC offers skilled, professional cleaning services. Once our employees arrive, they’ll examine your gutters, assess them for clogs or damage, and clean them so they’re functioning at full capacity. We bring all necessary supplies and tools with us, ensuring that we’re prepared for whatever repair jobs you need. Once they’re done, they’ll blow all that gutter debris in to the natural areas of your property leaving your yard the same or cleaner than it was when we arrived.
ABGC doesn’t stop with cleaning and repairing your gutters, however. If our professionals deem it necessary, they can also prune trees, repair shingles, clean skylights and more. Our goal is to both keep your gutters clean and in top shape, and to minimize the risks around them.
ABGC offers cleaning and repair services to Georgia cities such as Atlanta, Alpharetta, John’s Creek and more. A full list of our locations is available here.
Get a Quote Now
Keeping your gutters clean is important. Clean gutters help to funnel rainwater or melted snow away from your home. Not only do clogged or damaged gutters allow water to flow through your roof, basement or even into your foundation, but they can also become a breeding ground for mold and pests, as well as pool in your lawn and driveway. However, cleaning your gutters regularly can be difficult, unpleasant work.
If you’re hesitant or unsure on how to clean your own gutters, consider ABGC. We provide quick, easy quotes and scheduling and professional cleaning services to the Georgia area. Our workers are friendly, professional and reliable, so you know that your home will be in good hands. Contact us for a cleaning quote and protect your home from water damage today.