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Why Gutters Need Cleaning and Maintenance

Gutters are effective at directing rainwater away from your home, but unfortunately, they can get clogged with leaves, pine needles and other debris, and are particularly prone to clogging in the fall and spring.

By: Sylvia Slezak | Feb 2020

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Man cleaning the guttersPhoto by csp_Vlue

Too often homeowners wait to get their gutters cleaned after they notice a problem, or so much debris has collected that the gutter is tearing from the roof. A little gutter maintenance goes a long way to prevent these problems. Here’s what you need to know.

What Gutters Do

Gutters take water away from your home and keep your home and property in good condition by protecting the walls, basement, windows and flooring from getting damaged caused by overflowing rainwater.

If your gutters become clogged or damaged, water will be unable to properly divert away from your home and could back up onto the roof, spill over the side, and lead to a number of different problems like mold and mildew, foundation damage, basement flooding, and structural issues.

Removing dirt from the gutter

Why Gutters Must Be Cleaned

Cleaning your gutters is an integral part of maintaining your home for an amount that is much cheaper than having to pay for considerable water damage in and around your home. Like your homeowners’ insurance, regular cleaning of your gutters can help protect your home. Plan to clean your gutters at least twice a year - once in the spring and again in the autumn after most of the leaves have fallen.

Importance of gutter cleaning

  • Prevent water damage to your home
  • Avoid nesting areas for birds, mosquitoes, termites, and other insects
  • Cut down on growth and spread of mold and mildew
  • Prevent destruction of expensive landscaping
  • Maintain the value and beauty of your home

Problems caused by clogged gutters

  • Roof Leaks
    • Due to backed up water, the edging of the roof surface and the wood sheeting beneath it can be damaged, causing it to rot and become weak.
    • If water has gotten in, you may begin to notice a leak or stain on your ceiling.
    • The surface and the wood underneath will eventually have to be replaced.
  • Gutter damage
    • Debris and water will collect and clog the gutters, resulting in loose, falling, sagging, or detached rain gutters.
    • The weight and pressure of rainwater will cause the gutter to fall off.
    • A gallon of rainwater weighs about 8 pounds.
  • Damage to exterior walls, insulation, and drywall
    • Mold and mildew grows when water doesn’t have enough time to evaporate.
    • Once mold gets in, drywall and possibly studs have to be replaced.
    • Mold is extremely hazardous to your health, and it spreads like wildfire.
  • Basement flooding
    • Moist places are a haven for several types of pests such as mosquitoes, ants and termites.
    • Mosquitoes use standing water to lay their eggs, which can lead to bigger problems.
  • Foundation staining/damage
    • Constant water leakage onto the foundation will lead to damage.
    • Foundation crack leads to water leakage in the home.
  • Landscape
    • Excess water falling on plants, shrubs, and flowers can cause physical damage.
    • Plant life below may be killed by concentrated heavy flow of water.
    • I can become costly to replace plants and shrubs.

Why Perform Basic Gutter Maintenance

Once the gutters are clean, the critical maintenance task for your gutters is for you to make sure they stay clean year-round. If you live in a rainy area, then maintenance should be performed as frequently as possible given that rain gutters can clog faster, overflow, and the weight of the water can loosen them. Pay attention to water flowing freely off your roof, through the gutters and out your downspouts when it rains. When rain gutter maintenance is poor or non-existent, it creates the perfect conditions for a myriad of problems such as leaking and clogging.

Professional cleaning the gutters

Clean The Gutters Yourself or Hire a Professional

There are two options. Do the gutter cleaning and maintenance yourself, or if you’re not fond of the idea of climbing up on a ladder or the roof, hire a gutter cleaning and maintenance company.

But, before you take on the task of a DIY project, here are five reasons you might consider it dangerous to clean the gutters yourself.

  1. Ladder safety
  2. Going solo
  3. Insects/mold spores
  4. Power lines
  5. Damage to your home

You may opt to employ the services of a professional to do the hard work for you, knowing that they will take care of your gutter cleaning, maintenance, and other roofing needs, without damaging your home and yard.


A little upkeep goes a long way when it comes to gutters. You will have a clean system that will also save you time and money in the future. Visit CityOf.com to find top-grade services offered by Premier businesses.

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