Spring gutter cleaning is just as important as cleaning the gutters in the fall. It is the perfect time to get your home’s exterior ready for summer and see if the gutters and downspouts need any repairs. Homeowners ignore gutters and spring home maintenance at their own peril. If you’re wondering how often you should really clean your gutters, there are several things to consider before deciding on the number that will keep your home safe.
Number and Type of Trees
Since trees shed seasonally, annually or continuously during the year, your gutters could get pretty full if you only cleaned them twice a year – the minimum number generally recommended by gutter professionals. Take into account the number and type of trees growing on your property, particularly the number and type that are in close proximity to the house. Tall trees can easily shed leaves and twigs directly into the gutter channel. While coniferous trees remain green all year round, they still shed needles at different times of the year.
If you have a lot of trees that are a mix of deciduous and coniferous, plan on cleaning the gutters four to six times a year – once a season plus two additional gutter cleanings in the fall.
When there are only conifers three to four times per year should cover it.
When there are only deciduous trees two time a year should be enough, but time it right – wait until late spring for the first gutter cleaning of the year; last day of fall or the first week of winter for the second cleaning.
When you have no trees on your property, you might think you don’t need to clean the gutters. But don’t forget about the other trees growing on properties two streets over or elsewhere in the community. It’s easy to underestimate just how far strong winds can carry twigs, leaves, nests, and even pests.
Even if there are no trees around your house or within your property lines, keep an eye on the gutters by cleaning them once a year.
Even when 5-inch gutters or 6-inch gutters have been installed on a home, each gutter system handles the amount of rainfall differently. For example, one brand of 5-inch gutters can be wider, deeper, or a combination of both than another brand.
When gutter capacity is an issue and the gutters clog after one month of being cleaned, expect to clean the gutters six times a year, as the seasons change and one additional gutter cleaning in the spring, and another additional one in the fall.
When gutter capacity is an issue and the gutters clog after two to three months of being cleaned, plan to clean the gutters upon each change of season (4 times/yr).
Gutters with Gutter Guards
While some companies focus on a “no maintenance” aspect, the truth is in reality they are low-maintenance rather than none. Gutters with gutter guards, regardless of the type of leaf guard system, still need to be maintained, although not as often. While they block much of the debris that falls into a standard (open) gutter system, over time decomposed bits of debris, silt, and granules build up and require clearing away.
To keep gutters with gutter guards functioning well clean the gutters every two years.