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How Often Should Your Gutters be Cleaned?

April 3rd, 2023 | 4 min. read

How Often Should Your Gutters be Cleaned?

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Gutter cleaning is an essential part of maintaining your home. Some homeowners avoid it altogether, not worrying about the potential issues. 

Then there are others who simply don’t know how often or when they should clean their gutters. This is understandable because full gutters aren’t usually noticed until they’re overflowing. 

Getting regularly scheduled cleanings ensures you won’t get to that point. However, that leads to the question, “How often should my gutters be cleaned?”

For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided transparent advice to homeowners on all things gutters and roofing. Because of this, I’ll help you understand how often you should clean your gutters and much more. 

This article answers the following questions:

  • How often should your gutters be cleaned?
  • What happens if you don’t clean your gutters?
  • Should you clean your own gutters?

How often should your gutters be cleaned?

You should get your gutters cleaned out at least once or twice a year. The best time to clean your gutters is in the fall after all the leaves have fallen off the trees for the season.

gutters being cleaned out by a roofing contractor

But it’s also not a bad idea to get them cleaned out in the late spring to clear anything else that lands in the gutters and prepare them for fall. That’s why I recommend cleaning them out twice a year when the seasons change. 

However, determining how often to clean your gutters is ultimately up to you. The important thing is not to leave them full to the point where it causes damage to your roof and home. 

What happens if you don’t clean your gutters?

You shouldn't leave your full gutters sitting to the point that they overflow. If left unchecked for too long, it actually ends up damaging different areas of your home. 

The first thing you have to worry about is water overflowing from the gutters. This washes out the areas around your foundation over time, which eventually causes cracks. 

You also have to think about staining that’ll happen wherever the water is overflowing. The next thing you have to worry about is the actual debris in the gutters. 

Not only does sitting debris not allow water to flow correctly, it also stays wet and creates a great place for mold/mildew to thrive. If the gutters have too much (especially saturated) debris, they could also pull away from your home because they’re too heavy. 

gutters pulling away from roof and home

This causes a gap for water to saturate your exterior walls and enter the interior of your home. If left unattended, the gutters will eventually pull completely away and will be very expensive to repair. 

The last thing you have to worry about is rotting wood around your gutter line. Overflowing gutters push water behind the gutters, which rots the soffit, the edges of your roof decking, and can also accelerate the rotting of wood around your windows. 

Not only does this lead to health concerns and potential structural issues, but the moisture also attracts termites and other insects. No matter what, leaving your gutters full eventually leads to completely avoidable problems. 

Should you clean your own gutters?

At this point, you know how often to clean your gutters and what happens if you don’t. But should you clean your gutters or hire someone?

It’s your property, so of course, you can clean your gutters. However, I recommend you hire a professional roofing or gutter company.

I understand wanting to save money by doing it yourself. But you're taking a huge risk with your safety anytime you climb a ladder.  

If you don’t have experience or aren’t 100% comfortable being on a ladder, you should leave it to a professional. But if you plan to clean your gutters, make sure your ladder is safe and fully functioning. 

Also, check the ladder rungs for cracks and place the ladder on a firm and level surface. Most importantly, do not place it against the gutters because your weight will crush them.

Make sure to keep all this in mind if you’re serious about cleaning out your gutters. No amount of money is worth putting your life at risk over gutters. If you’re not 100% confident you can do it safely, just call a professional. 

Who do you call to clean out your gutters?

Now you know you can clean your gutters, but hiring a professional is recommended. But who do you call? A roofing company? A gutter company? 

While you can call a gutter company, cleaning out your gutters is actually a crucial part of roof maintenance. So, not only will a roofer clean out your gutters, but they’ll also perform other maintenance tasks that protect your roof. 

Unfortunately, most homeowners think maintenance is a tactic by a company to keep getting money out of them. But just like a car needs an oil change, your roof needs checkups to keep it running smoothly.  

That’s why I wrote another article breaking down why and how to keep your roof functioning at a high level with maintenance. 

Check out Why Roof Maintenance is Important to learn the importance of roof maintenance and what it does for your roof investment.

roofing contractor questions checklist

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