Get Your Mind On Your Gutters
One of the simplest and yet often overlooked home maintenance tasks is gutter cleaning. While gutter cleaning is relatively inexpensive, the effects of a neglected gutter can be extremely costly.
How often to get gutters cleaned depends on the home, but most homes could use a gutter cleaning twice a year. Some homes can get by with once a year if there are not many trees around, but some gutters should be cleaned more than twice a year in areas with a lot of trees. If once a year, the gutters should be cleaned in the fall; if twice, they should be cleaned in the fall and spring.
Getting gutters professionally cleaned typically costs between $125-175, but that can increase based on a couple of factors. If gutters are on all four sides of the home, then it will cost more to get them cleaned. Likewise, with steeper roofs, the cleaning can be more expensive as it is more time-consuming.
Beyond gutter cleaning, homeowners should consider purchasing gutter guards for extra protection; however, not all gutter guards are created equal — even the top-of-the-line gutter screen will not keep 100% of leaves out. Gutter screens typically last the lifespan of the gutter system, and should be swept every few years. Typically gutter screens cost $6-8 per square foot, and most homes have about 200 square feet of gutters.
Gutters are designed to keep buildings dry in heavy rain or snow, but without regular maintenance they cannot do their job properly. Without gutters, the roof, siding, and foundation are prone to damage. At the very least, a clogged gutter can prevent water flow from the downspout, which can cause water damage to the roof and fascia. It can also damage paint and siding, which can cause mold or dry rot. With excess water pouring over the gutters, it can crack the foundation and leak into the basement or crawlspace. What’s more, gutters packed with debris can lead to critter infestations.
Though there is a lot that can go wrong with clogged gutters, the simplest solution is regular maintenance. If cleaning in the fall, it is best to do it when most of the leaves have fallen. If in the spring, it should be done in late spring/early summer when summer petals and pollen can clog the gutters most. If in need of a recommendation, ask your Realtor for a reputable company.