As a rule of thumb, you should clean your gutters every 3 months. However, that figure will change depending on your location and environment.
Here we will explain why you need to clean your gutters this often, how to attempt the task, and what could make your circumstances different. Get this information wrong, and your house will end up with leaks or pest infestations that could have been avoided.
Why Should I Clean My Gutters Every 3 Months?
You should clean your gutters every 3 months to match the seasons. Each season has its own problems to face, which means you’ll have to clean them differently depending on the current season you’re in. For example, during Fall, leaves will fall into your water-draining system, clogging them. A clogged gutter will lead to overflowing, which in turn leads to water damage.
There is nothing worse than trying to enter your home when you first need to walk through a dirty waterfall of grime and rotten leaves. In the Winter water will freeze in the plastic. If left alone for too long, the constant freezing and thawing will lead to cracks in the pipework, which in turn will create water damage to your home.
During Spring, animals will be looking for safe areas to have their children. If you haven’t been maintaining your gutters, this will be the perfect place to create a nest. Before you know it, you’ll have a family of rats in your gutters. It won’t take long for them to burrow into your home.
And lastly, in Summer any dead leaves, dead animals, or stagnant water stuck in your gutters will start to heat and cook in the midday sun. If you haven’t been cleaning the pipework, you’ll be left with the stench of decay surrounding your home for all to smell.
These are the reasons why you should clean your gutting every 3 months. As we said before, it’s the standard rule of thumb. Each season your gutters face a new problem, and if you don’t stay on top of it they can easily climb to disgusting or unsafe levels.
Things To Consider About Your Circumstances
The information is based on a storybook version of seasons. However, most of us don’t experience all 4 seasons to their full potential. If you live in a place that doesn’t truly get cold, then you don’t have to worry about frozen water. And if you live away from any treelines, then the fall of leaves won’t be something to worry about. With this information, you can gauge how often you should be cleaning your gutters, rather than following general advice.
However, just because you don’t experience extreme weather changes doesn’t mean you can completely ignore that season’s advice. For example, if you don’t experience harsh winters, remember that animals in your area will not have the same heated homes as you.
Rats, squirrels, and other rodents will see your gutter as a warm and safe environment to live in as the evenings become a little chilly. You want to make guttering as uninhabitable as possible for them. If the gutters are clean and functional, then the odd shower will make any nesting rodents fall and slip. This will tell the rodents that they cannot nest here – it isn’t stable enough.
Alternatively, if you live in a tree dense location, then leaves will fall off the branches throughout the year. In these cases, you need to continue maintaining your gutter throughout the year, as the gentle build-up of leaves will attract nesting creatures and will clog the drainage.
And as you know, a clogged draining system lends to overflowing guttering, a nice nesting habitat for creatures, and the horrible smell of stagnant water. Figure out what your personal situation is, and consider these main issues with guttering maintenance. Keep the 3 months rule in mind, but change it to best fit your environment.
How to Clean a Gutter
Cleaning your gutter system isn’t a difficult task, but it can be time-consuming and it’s not pleasant. Before you get started you need the right equipment. This means waterproof construction gloves, a dust mask, safety glasses, a bin bag, and a ladder.
The ladder is obvious as you need to reach the gutter, to begin with. For safety reasons, there should be someone at the bottom of the ladder holding it steady as you work. The waterproof construction gloves are to protect you from thorns or rodents as you clean the guttering.
They need to be waterproof as every part of that guttering will be wet at the very least. The mask and glasses are to protect you from the stench of guttering and any flying debris that fling out while you work. Now you have the equipment, you need to use your hands to shovel any debris out of the gutter.
This means leaves, dead animals, sticks, or anything else that shouldn’t be in your drains. If there is a lot of debris inside a downward-facing pipe, you may need a long and sturdy thistle brush to dislodge the debris and pull out the gunk.
Once all the big pieces have been removed, you can hose down the gutter to remove the grime. This is also a good method to make sure the water runs smoothly and there aren’t moments of pooling. When you hose down the gutter, make sure you don’t break the guttering by using a pressure wash which is too powerful.
When Should I Hire a Professional?
Hiring a professional is a great option for most people. Most gutters become clogged because we forget to clean them. Even with the best intentions to keep your home secure and maintained, you can easily forget. There are so many little jobs that should be completed a couple of times a year, that a few are bound to slip your mind.
Hiring a professional gutter cleaner means putting the scheduling issues in their hands. They will come every 3 months (or as appropriate for your location) so you don’t need to worry.
The second reason to hire a professional is if the gutting issues have become extreme. That disgusting waterfall situation we described before? That’s something a professional should handle. They will have the safety equipment, knowledge of how to capture wildlife, and unique equipment such as the long thistle brush.
When you first move into a new home, hire a professional then. They will make sure the gutting maintenance starts from scratch. They can also tell you about any problems with the gutting and the local expectations for gutter cleaning.
Make sure you search for “gutter cleaning near me” so you get local workers who know the wildlife and the seasonal expectations for the area. Even if you’re just moving around the same state, the change in wind pressure, sea air, or foliage could be enough to warrant a new cleaning routine.
Before you go, there are a few things you should remember. First, you should clean your gutters every 3 months. This is a great rule of thumb because even if you don’t experience the weather in the fairytale format, you’ll still find natural debris or wandering animals near you.
Secondly, hiring a professional means keeping your gutters clean without having to plan for the next season – it’s a weight off your mind. Lastly, if you’re cleaning the cutting yourself make sure to wear thick construction gloves as a bite from a frightened rat can lead to dangerous medical problems.