How often should gutters be cleaned?
It depends! Some houses can go for a couple of years between cleanings. Others need cleaning twice a year or more. Each situation is different
Develope a history
Starting out to find how often cleaning is needed the gutters and down spouts should be checked twice a year for signs of blockage, leaks and possible overflowing. If you live in a high rainfall area or have a lot of trees hanging over the house you may want to increase the frequency of checking the gutter system. As you check the system and track the need for cleaning after a season or two it will be very clear what is needed for gutter cleaning frequency
For those who can not see any of the gutters from inside the house and do not climb ladders checking the system for blockage can be relativly easy. On clear days check of signs of mold or streaking on places the gutters may over flow. Observe the siding for discolorations indicating water leaks. Just when it starts to rain go to the out let of he downspouts and if water does not flow very soon after the start of a heavy rain you know that something is blocking either the gutters or leaders. If you want to stay dry and the garden hose spray can reach the roof the same test can be done of the system by spraying water on the roof and simulating a rain, checking the water flows down the system as it saturates the roof and fills the gutter.
This way you do not have to clean the gutters more often than needed. Regardless if your are doing it yourself or paying some one to climb up and clean the gutters no one wants to waste time energy or money on something that is not needed.
Prior to having a history on when gutter cleaning is need for a house follow this rule of thumb. Gutters and downspouts should be cleaned and checked for signs of necessary repairs at least twice a year. Typically, the best times to do this are spring when the tree seed pods and flower debris are down and fall when the leaves are down but take care not to wait so long a prolonged freeze sets in. Each year this window of opportunity can be very different. The late fall option can be difficult if put off too long and you get into snow and freezing weather were it is not safe or practical to work on gutters. If you suspect a problem or live in an extremely rainy climate, then perhaps, you should check and clean the gutters more frequently. If there are a lot of trees that are high or over hang the roof then the need for cleaning will naturally increase the frequency. Some people cannot tell in advance the need for gutter cleaning so just wait till the gutters show a problem then have them cleaned. This method can stretch out the need for cleaning but also lead to a sudden death playoff with problems in the winter being the hardest to resolve if there are freezing conditions. If you live in an area that winter is cold enough for freezing then you can get ice dams in the gutters and water pouring into the house as melting snow from the heat inside works up under the roof since the ice blocks the normal flow of water off the roof. As you keep track of how much material is removed at cleaning, how full the gutters are and if there are blocked downspouts you will know what the right frequency is. Most houses always have bad spot and areas of guttering that stays clear.
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