A lot of people wonder what is the best time to clean your gutters. The short answer is early spring and early fall – so, basically twice a year you should get your gutter cleaning service in southern Maryland. To explain a little more: Not everyone lives with one tree in their front yard.
If you have trees on your property… every 3 months may be a better estimate. Keeping your house and property well maintained is cheaper than repairing it.
Higher elevations have to watch for ice during the winters, so make sure that those pine needles are out of your gutters! Make sure your gutters can take the freeze and thaw of your particular climate.
Why should you clean your gutters?
Your gutters are basically a system of managing one of the most destructive forces of the planet from destroying your home. When you think about how water can erode rock into sand – and find places to seep into your house – this is actually a very good way of safeguarding your house. If you take care of your gutters, they will take care of your home for you.
Is this important? In a nutshell, yes.
- During Winter: If water isn’t managed correctly with a clean and well-maintained gutter, it will drip on walkways, steps, and your front doorway. When the temperature dips, the clogged water will freeze and become icicles becoming a hazard that could hurt someone. The steps will be covered with ice because they can’t drain properly. The front door will be a danger.
- Spring: Water can pool up and cause mold growth (and aggravate allergies and other health issues.) Pooled water is also a breeding ground for insects. This mold can end up in the house as well as outside.
- Summer: Moisture from your gutters can also seep under the wood fascia and soffit boards and cause rot, which will make it easy for rodents and pests to enter the home. Summer is also a time of higher humidity, creating even more places for it to enter your home.
- Autumn: If there are blockages in your gutters, this can create leaks that will eventually go to the roof and ceilings. This can cost a great deal to repair. Rain will have nowhere to go… so it will seep anywhere there is a space, eventually making cracks.
- Summer: When water is not drained properly off the roof, it will pool on the ground – seeping into the basement and cause damage, mold, and flooding. Summertime in most of the U.S. is the time of the most rain. The rain, when not properly channeled away from the house will collect around the foundation where it will eventually find its way into the basement creating that “smell” that we all know. Working gutters can help prevent this.
- Summer: Water can also cause driveway and landscape damage. Those cracks and even chunks of the driveway that are destroyed by water damage can be prevented if the water doesn’t run on the driveway. Blacktop is more susceptible to water damage than cement, but neither is particularly good with sustained water draining on it. And if you want a beautiful yard, don’t let your gutter dump out just anywhere, manage it to go away from your home, preferably down the street or somewhere where it won’t do damage.
If the Grand Canyon was caused by a little river, imagine how much damage it can do to your home if it isn’t managed correctly.
Now that you know it is important, knowing when to clean them is just as vital.
Cleaning them in early spring, after the winter thaw, can help mitigate the winter damage from ice freezing and melting and give you are a good idea of how the rest of your house is shaping up. It is a good idea to do a quick inspection at this time to see if there are any repairs you may need to do to get ready for the warmer months.
- Check for mold
- Check for cracks, loose brackets, broken pieces of gutter or brackets pulling away from the house
- Check for blockages
- Inspect your roof (since you are up there) check for loose tiles
- Look for pools of water that might signal rot or broken wood, tiles or other material.
- If you see dripping from your gutters, they aren’t draining properly
After autumn, do another inspection on your gutters to get ready for winter.
All this is conditional on where you live. If you are in the Southwest, chances are ice may not be a big issue if you are in Phoenix, but would be if you are in Flagstaff. So watch for the pine needles, they can also clog those gutters!
Managing water is crucial to the safety and longevity of your biggest investment, your home. Water can cause great damage or it can make things grow (like mold!) – but if it is managed well with a gutter system that is well maintained, your home will be well cared for and look better longer and cost less to keep up in the long run.
Read our next blog – How To Safely Clean My Own Gutters