As a homeowner, your to-do list of home maintenance projects probably feels never-ending. Maintaining your gutters is one of those items that is an easy one to put off, but beware, neglecting your gutters for too long can create problems. Many people want to know, “how often should I clean my gutters?”
It can be easier than you think to accidentally skip cleaning your gutters for years in a row. Then suddenly, you’re having issues with your gutters and realize it will take much more than cleaning them to resolve the issue. In some areas after gutters have been clogged for a long time, gutter replacement becomes necessary. Here are some common gutter problems that can happen if you wait too long to clean them.
Keeping your gutters clean can prevent them from becoming damaged and keep them working for years to come. Clogged gutters that are filled with debris can start to sag when water collects, they can’t drain, and are weighed down. Your gutters could even start pulling away from your home and damage other parts of your home’s exterior.
One of the first signs people often notice that signals them to clean their gutters is water leaking from the edge. If there are too many leaves and debris left in the gutters, water can’t flow through and will likely spill out the front. Your downspout can also become clogged and prevent water from flowing properly.
Putting off cleaning your gutters for too long could end up causing damage to your roof. If your gutters are clogged up, rainwater will have nowhere to go, causing it to overflow and soak your shingles. This water could leak into your home or cause your shingles to deteriorate faster than usual. This becomes particularly worrisome in the winter when water freezes and creates ice dams which can cause even more roof damage and put you at risk for leaks.
By neglecting your gutters, you may also be setting yourself up for a damaged driveway or yard. Poor drainage can cause water to pool in your driveway, which could freeze into ice or start to get moldy. If your gutters are spilling water over onto your yard, you might find the grass becomes unhealthy, or you constantly have a muddy spot that creates big messes.
Leaves that are wet and left unattended will eventually start to decompose and rot. If you live in a humid climate like the Midwest, your gutters may be the perfect environment for mold to develop. This can make your gutters look quite unappealing and may lead to health problems if the mold makes its way into your home. Plus cleaning up moldy gutters has health risks of its own.
Many professionals recommend cleaning your gutters two times each year, in the fall and spring. The fall season brings falling leaves that get caught in your gutters. It is particularly important to clean your gutters at the end of fall to clear out leaves before winter comes so that water blockages don’t damage your roof. During the spring, Midwest storms blow through, and your gutters will likely be collecting sticks, leaves, and other debris the storm kicks up. Plus there is often the most rainfall in spring, so your gutters will be working their hardest that time of year.
When it comes to cleaning your gutters, you can either do it yourself or hire a professional. If you plan to do it yourself, here are a few tips:
If you spot something suspicious going on with your roof while you are cleaning your gutters, don’t hesitate to call a professional. Manor Roofing offers free evaluations for roof repairs in Mid-Missouri. Schedule a roof inspection today!