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Cleaning your gutters doesn’t have to be a source of stress or frustration. It can actually be as satisfuying as mowing the lawn or tending the garden. After all, your gutters are part of your home, and it’s always nice to spend time making sure your home’s value is both maintained and enhanced. But often, cleaning the gutters poses some real challenges. This can be mitigated by knowing when you should clean your gutters. Making the right decision as to when to clean your gutters is going to save you a lot of time and energy. The information we are going to discuss is going to vary depending on where you live, but the principles will hold true for most locations, regardless of climate.

Decide Early When You will Clean Them

Most people choose to clean their gutters only when they observe a problem. There may be a drainage issue that is causing a backup. The water is not going down the spouts properly, so the debris has to be dealt with in order to make sure the water doesn’t affect the siding on the house. You break out the ladder and ac few tools and climb on up. The problem with this approach is that it invariably involves interrupting another activity, either one that was planned for a while or one you already committed to doing. But because the gutters are important, the decision is sound. The scheduling conflict can be avoided if the gutter cleaning times are decided beforehand. As we will see, this can be done even months before you actually have to clean your gutters.

Rain gutters—and all residential gutters—are going to progressively collect debris. All roof gutters have the job of catching and redirecting water. But they also catch what that water brings—as well as anything the winds blow onto your roof and down to its edge. This results in a relatively predictable rate of build-up. In a way, this is good because you can figure out roughly how often your gutters will need to be cleaned. This allows you to plan ahead.


The spring is generally seen as a good time to address a variety of cleaning needs. The gutters on your house should be part of this yearly routine. During winter, things tend to stick to the top of your roof as they get lodged in snow. The snow holds the debris for you until it melts in the spring. The debris then travels down your roof and into your gutters. The collection of material is going to be much greater and much more diverse in the spring, so plan to attack it soon after things start to melt. If there’s no snow in your area, spring is still a good time to take care of the gutters due to the winds that often blow things on your roof during winter.

Right Before Winter

Whether you have gutters with seams or seamless gutters, you will want to prepare them for the winter. The ice that forms in gutters can do a number on them, whether they have seams or not. The ice is made far worse when water is allowed to collect in the gutters. It then freezes and they get weighed down, crack, rip off the roof, or cause ice dams. Cleaning them out before winter makes it easier for the water to flow through the gutters and down the spouts.

You should also consider getting gutter guards. Gutter guards help keep debris out of your gutters. Although they don’t clean your gutters for you, the material can bounce off the gutter guards and go straight down to the ground. Gutter guards also make sure that the bigger stuff has no chance of getting in there. Although a gutter guard may still allow silt and some dirt to get through, the stuff that can’t be handled by the water that flows through the gutter will be kept outside the gutter. Gutter guards are a great tool for minimizing the amount of time you have to invest in cleaning your gutters. The less time you spend on your gutters, the more time you have to spend with friends, family, and on other areas of your house.


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June 2024