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Your Questions About Gutter Cleaning Answered

Gutter cleaning: the very phrase makes most homeowners cringe. After all, this to-do is hardly one of the most enjoyable parts of owning a property. Not only is it a mucky and time-consuming task, but it can also be dangerous. Since you have to climb on a ladder to clean out your gutters, there is always a risk you might fall.

This task is also often neglected, which can result in serious problems for your roof, siding and even foundation. Gutters are meant to safely remove water from rainfall and melting snow through downpipes. These release the water at a safe distance from your home's foundation. When they're blocked, the water can't flow freely and might spill over—damaging your property.

To ensure your gutters are properly maintained year round to prevent any issues arising, the team at Mr. Handyman of Easton, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Allentown and the Lehigh Valley has put together this guide. In it, we answer all your questions so you can ensure this important task gets done.

How Often Should I Clean My Gutters?

At the bare minimum, you should clean your gutters at least once a year. However, twice a year is the best frequency. We suggest hiring maintenance services once in the spring and once in the fall. These seasons undergo the most change, so it's the best time to prepare your property for those changes.

For instance, falling leaves and twigs in the autumn should be removed before winter rolls around. Likewise, get your gutters summer-ready in the spring by cleaning out any debris that has amassed over the winter.

There are a couple instances when you might need to clean your gutters more frequently. This could happen when:

  • There is a storm that has blown leaves, dirt and debris into the system

  • You have trees right next to your home (it's likely you'll get more debris stuck in the pipes)

  • You see water spilling over the side of your roof

  • The pipes are sagging

  • Plants have started to grow in the system

  • Birds, insects and/or other pests are living in your roof

  • There are stained marks on your siding

Why Are My Gutters Overflowing?

Your system will overflow when it becomes clogged with debris. This includes:

  • Leaves

  • Twigs

  • Garbage

  • Mud/dirt

  • Nests/pests

This debris can also cause standing water to accumulate in the pipes. Not only is this detrimental because water is very heavy—and the structure could rip off entirely from your roof—but it is also prime for mosquitoes. These pesky creatures like to breed in still water.

Pro Tip: If you see mosquitoes circulating around your roof, it's a sign your gutters need to be cleaned!

Why Do I Need to Clean My Gutters?

This home maintenance task is a pain, but it's what you might call a “necessary evil.” Your house has gutters for a reason! They must be cleaned properly, so the system can fulfill its many important purposes:

  • Protect your roof from water damage

  • Prevent your yard or garden from being flooded

  • Stop paved areas, like walkways and patios, from being eroded

  • Avoid damage to your home's foundation, such as erosion, cracking and water damage

  • Prevent your basement from flooding

  • Keep pests away from your house

  • Avoid the breakers and hangers from falling and damaging your roof

Can't I Just Clean My Gutters Myself?

Of course you can! If you're a comfortable DIYer, don't mind heights and are happy to spend a Saturday elbow-deep in muck, then why not clean the system yourself? The main thing to be aware of is that climbing on ladders can be very dangerous. Roughly 500,000 falls happen annually in America, with 97% of these happening at home or on farms. If you're planning to tackle this task by yourself, complete these steps:

  1. Use a sturdy, extendable ladder. Place the ladder on a sturdy surface and use a ladder stabilizer.

  2. Dress appropriately. Wear rubber gloves, a long-sleeved shirt and work pants you don't mind getting dirty.

  3. Spread a tarp beneath your work area. This collects the gunk while protecting your lawn and garden.

  4. Use a small plastic scoop to remove debris.

  5. When the debris is removed, use a garden hose to flush away remaining residue and check for leaks.

I Have Gutter Guards, Do I Need to Have My Gutters Cleaned Out?

It's a common misconception that you never have to clean out your system if you have installed gutter guards. While they will help prevent dirt and grime from accumulating in the pipes, even the best guards need cleaning from time to time. Instead of once to twice a year, you may be able to get away with biennial cleanings instead.

Should I Install Gutter Guards?

There are numerous benefits to installing guards. Although to do so may be an investment of time and cost, it's well worth it in the end. Some main advantages to installing guards includes:

  • Saving time and money by lessening the frequency of cleanings

  • Avoiding mice and insect manifestations by lessening the amount of stagnant water in the system

  • Helping alleviate ice dams and freezing during the winter

  • Preventing premature rust and corrosion (extending the life of your system)

  • Lessening clogs, thus improving the flow of water

  • Stopping pipes from overflowing and damaging your property

Why Should I Hire Mr. Handyman?

At Mr. Handyman of Easton, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Allentown and the Lehigh Valley, we have years of experience completing a range of home improvement, maintenance and repair tasks. Not only do we offer quality service and exceptional workmanship, but our company is also recognized for our dedication to excellent customer service and prioritizing customer satisfaction.

In addition to gutter cleaning services, we also offer:

  • Repair and replacement

  • Guard installation

  • Downspout cleaning

  • Pressure washing

  • And more!

To book one of our pro service technicians, learn more about our reliable service, or inquire about our affordable prices, we invite you to contact us today. You can reach us by phoning our friendly office staff at 610-463-1667.