Gutter Cleaning needs a visual check
Cleaning the gutters on a home’s roof is a messy business, but it’s important to keep this storm water drainage system free of clogs.
Rotting leaves, twigs and other debris can clog the gutter system and force water over the edge of the gutter, causing damage to foundation plantings and the foundation itself.
How often should you clean your gutters? An expert from AWS Roofing explains
Your roof is not just a layer of metal sheet or tiles – it’s a whole system with different components that all function together to keep you comfortable and dry:
- The actual roof
Insulation that keeps the temperature comfortable
- Underlayment acts as a moisture barrier and prevents excessive moisture buildup
- Gutters and roof plumbing that drain rainwater away from your roof
Just like your new metal roof, your gutters need frequent maintenance to ensure they continue to do their job. Specifically, gutters need to be cleaned on a regular basis!
The answer to the question of how often we should clean the gutters is: it really depends!
We know that you were hoping for a slightly more specific answer. But, unfortunately, we can’t give you a more detailed answer – it really depends.
As a general rule, we favour cleaning your gutters at least twice a year – once in early summer and once immediately after the end of autumn.
Why is this cleaning necessary?
Quite simply, without gutters, uncontrolled rainwater can:
- Cause water damage to your house siding
- flood the areas directly under your roof
- Turn your roof into a mini-Niagara falls
Consider your local surroundings
Other considerations might prompt you to clean your gutters more frequently.
For starters, certain plants at your home, such as trees, may cause you to clean your gutters more frequently. In addition, trees that bloom or shed leaves throughout the year may cause you to clean your gutters more regularly.
Another factor is the weather. Hailstorms can defoliate trees and destroy your roof tiles in a matter of minutes. More giant hailstones can also damage the gutters themselves.
In areas where it rains heavily throughout the year, gutters may also need to be cleaned more frequently.
Consider your home’s gutter and roof’s age
Building materials age with time. Roof tiles become damaged from exposure to sun, rain, snow and wind. Your gutters also become brittle at the seams and can corrode or rust with age.
Is there a way to minimize the frequency of gutter cleaning?
The good news is that there are things you can do to reduce the frequency of gutter cleaning.
Get Gutter Guards
While there are several types of gutter guards on the market, they all serve the same purpose: to prevent debris from clogging your gutters without impeding the flow of rainwater.
Gutter guards can not only extend the time between gutter cleanings, but they can also make cleaning easier when the time comes.
Types of gutter guards
Below are some types of gutter guards:
- Wire mesh gutter guards
- Brush gutter guards
- Foam gutter guards
- Mesh gutter guards
Cleaning the gutter guards; How often should you do it?
Maybe you’ve taken the time to put gutter guards on all of your gutters. If so, well done!
You’ve saved yourself a lot of work.
But the fact is, you still have to take the time to clean them from time to time. Gutter guards are intended to reduce the amount of maintenance you have to do on your gutters, but sometimes they don’t eliminate the need for gutter maintenance completely.
Gutter guards can keep your gutters from filling with debris, but seeds and smaller particles can get through the mesh or protection. The experts at AWS Roofing recommend cleaning gutter guards at least every two years and even more often if there are plants near your roof.
I put gutter guards on my roof gutters, both on my home and my commercial building, and I’m glad I only have to go up and clean them every few years.
Do I need to clean my home’s gutters regularly even after gutter guards are installed?
After installing gutter guards, some people might think they are done with their job. They don’t need to clean their gutters anymore.
Well, this is not the case.
It is a common misconception that you will never have to clean your gutters again after installing gutter guards.
Even the best gutter protection systems with the best guards need to be cleaned, but the better the system, the less cleaning is often required. Over time, gutters accumulate debris that should be removed with a hose.
The reason why gutters with gutter guards need to be cleaned
Because gutter guards are attached to existing gutters in three or six-foot panels, there are small seams where the panels are joined together.
Over time, these seams can become larger, allowing debris to get caught in them. Due to this reason, it is advisable to check the condition of your gutter guards twice a year at least to make sure that the seams have not come loose and caused a blockage.
Can you install gutter guards on existing gutters?
Yes, it is possible!! For example, one of the most popular and effective gutter guards on the market, Micromesh, attaches directly to the top of your existing gutter. However, it is important to note that not all gutter guards can be installed on existing gutters, as some require a complete gutter replacement since they are made from one piece (one-piece-system).
Any quick and simple way to fix gutters?
Yes, there is!!
Solve some of the gutter problems with these simple solutions:
Years ago, spikes and clamps were a common way to hang gutters. They serve their purpose, but eventually, the spikes loosen. Hammering them back in is a temporary solution at best.
Water getting behind the gutter
If water is constantly dripping behind your gutter, it’s probably because the gutter was installed without flashing on the back.
The gutter apron prevents dripping. A gutter apron is a curved piece of flashing that clips under the shingles and over the gutter.
Gutter Leaks: What should you do when water spills over the gutters
Some roofs have long valley sections through which a lot of rainwater flows at high velocity. If the water shoots out the end of the valley, it can run right over the gutter. A detour helps direct the water back into the gutter where it belongs. Attach a baffle to the top of the gutter’s outer edge with a couple of sheet metal screws.
Annoying dripping water
Is the sound of dripping water in your downspouts driving you crazy? Eliminate the problem by tying a rope to one of the gutter hangers and running it down into the downspout. The water droplets will stick to the rope instead of tumbling down the length of the downspout and causing a loud dripping sound.
Adding a rope restricts the flow of water. Therefore, this may not be the best option if your gutters tend to overflow or if your downspout is easily clogged with twigs and leaves. Instead, purchase a rope made of a synthetic material like nylon.