Why You Need to Keep Your Gutters Clean This Fall


Nobody wants to clean their gutters, but, unfortunately, it's one of the most important autumn chores to do to keep your roof and exterior walls clean and healthy. Clogged gutters cause far more damage than most people realize, and cleaning them isn't as hard as you might think. Here's a quick look at why you need to keep your gutters clean and free of gunk this fall.


3 Reasons to Clean Your Gutters This Fall

Cleaning your gutters at least twice per year is the best way to keep your roof healthy, and it's far easier than dealing with the problems that arise when you neglect them. Here are the top three reasons you should put cleaning your gutters high on your list of fall chores.


1. Clogged Gutters Cause Leaks

You might not think overflowing gutters are a big problem, but they can cause water to collect under the edges of your roof and behind your exterior walls, causing massive amounts of water damage. Repairing rotted fascia boards is a huge pain and will cost you a pretty penny, so it's better to avoid the problem altogether by keeping your gutters clean.


2. Overflowing Gutters Can Cause Foundation Problems

Most people don't realize how important their home's gutters are for maintaining a healthy foundation. Gutters redirect water away from your foundation, dispersing it a safe distance from your home via a downspout.

The problem is that clogs cause rainwater to bypass the downspout and pour over your gutter's edges, pooling around the base of your home and causing an increased risk of leaking through your foundation walls. Failing to clear your gutters inevitably leads to cracks and undue stress on your foundation walls, requiring expensive expert attention to repair.


3. Full Gutters Attract Mosquitoes and Insects

Mosquitoes love to breed in standing water and wet, swampy environments, both things that blocked gutters provide. The standing water that pools beneath overflowing gutters serves as a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes, and the leaf litter and debris in your gutters give adult mosquitoes an attractive place to hang out in your yard.

Even if mosquitoes aren't an issue where you live, other insects like earwigs, wasps, and bees also like to make nests in clogged gutters. It's much easier to avoid an infestation in the first place by keeping your gutters clean than it is to eradicate insect invaders once they're dug in.


Tips for Keeping Your Gutters Clean

Many homeowners dread cleaning their gutters, but it doesn't have to be that way. The following tips make it much easier to keep your gutters clean and can save you from having to replace them as often.


leaves in gutters


Invest in Gutter Guards

The easiest way to keep your gutters clean year-round is to invest in gutter guards. The best gutter guards are made of fine mesh that keeps your gutters spotless even if you live in a heavily wooded area. Gutter guards don't absolve you of all your gutter maintenance duties, but they prevent you from having to scoop out piles of decaying leaves since they keep out most large items like leaves and sticks.


Get a Gutter Cleaning Hose Attachment

Even if you get some gutter guards, you'll still have to give your gutters a deep cleaning every once in a while. The easiest way to do it is to purchase a curved attachment for your garden hose that's designed to help you reach your gutters easily without needing a ladder. Your gutters won't be full of leaves and debris if you have gutter guards, so you'll probably only need to run the hose up and down a few times to get them squeaky clean.


Ask Your Landscaper if they Clean Gutters

If you don't feel like installing gutter guards or buying special attachments just for cleaning your gutters, you should ask your landscaper if they provide gutter cleaning services. Some landscapers include gutter cleaning as part of their fall and spring cleanup packages. It usually doesn't cost much and can save you the hassle of dragging your ladder around your house twice per year.

If you do your own landscaping, you might be able to hire one of your neighbor's landscapers just to clean your gutters. It shouldn't cost you much more than it would if you had your own landscaper do it, and most lawn care businesses are happy to have a little extra work.