How Often to Clean Gutters
Did you know our services not only make your home look great, but can save you money?
It is less expensive to maintain your home than to repair it. We love being a part of keeping your home gorgeous, and love just as much helping your castle last.
So find here the straight goods on how Darren Does That’s services can protect your investment, and how often a wise homeowner will have these done.
This is part one of two, focusing on gutter cleaning. Next week we’ll talk windows and siding cleaning.
A Schedule for Gutter Cleaning
Of all the services Darren Does That offers, gutter cleaning is the most essential for the wellbeing of your home. When the eavestroughs are clogged, not only do the troughs themselves risk becoming damaged through rusting or sagging through holding too much weight, but the water they should be escorting harmlessly away from your home will end up places you don’t want it.
So to prevent water near your foundation which can easily result in water in your basement, regular gutter cleaning is a must. But how regular?
I can’t give you a blanket recommendation for how often your gutters should be cleaned. One of the purposes of our thorough gutter inspection process is so we can provide you with recommendations appropriate to your specific situation.
When making that call we take into consideration two main factors: What kinds of vegetation is nearby, and what kind of condition is the eavestrough system in?
What Gets in the Gutters?
Most of what ends up in troughs year over year are leaves and seeds. If you have large trees near your home, then an annual cleaning is a minimum requirement. If you have large Spruce, Elm, or Maple hanging right over your home, twice a year cleaning may be necessary, especially on years with large Spring seed drops.
Now, Edmonton has a lot of tall homes in neighbourhoods with zero tall trees. Do these homes need gutter cleaning at all? Probably not very often, but never would be a reckless conclusion.
Asphalt shingles are a source of clogs in a system that is unlikely to get leaves in it. The grit embedded in the surface of a shingle protects it, and as the shingles age, the grit is shed. This ends up in troughs, and because it is stone, it is heavy and doesn’t wash out easily. We’ve seen plenty of troughs full to the brim with shingle grit tearing themselves off a house because the spikes and hangers aren’t strong enough to hold that much weight.
Grit tends to fall the most right after new asphalt shingles are installed, and then again as the shingles reach the end of their life. It’s worth considering having the gutters cleaned a couple years after new shingles are installed. While I’m on the subject of cleaning gutters after new shingles are installed: if you get your place re-roofed, please make sure the roofers clean the gutters after themselves. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve scooped buckets of rusty roofing nails out of gutters years after new shingles were installed.
Okay I want them Done!
How Good are the Gutters at Getting Stuff Out?
Regardless of what and how much is getting into your gutter though, a system in poor repair will have a difficult time getting stuff out of the gutter, and will require cleaning more often. When a trough is sufficiently large, has ample downspouts, and is sloped correctly, a lot of what ends up in it day to day will wash right out when it rains.
On the other hand, if the system is slow to drain because there is bad grading, many corners, and tiny downspouts, then little will wash out and the troughs will get full and clogged quickly.
When you hire Darren Does That for a gutter cleaning, we’ll give you a detailed report on the conditions of your eavestroughs highlighting issues that are stopping your gutters from doing their job well. We can also repair many of these issues, potentially decreasing how often your system needs cleaning and reducing your risk of flooding: saving you money in the long run.
Even if your system has never had issues before, there is a risk of damage over the long run. It’s common for parts of the eaves of a house to settle, especially on large overhangs and gables. As the eaves relax downwards, eavestroughs that once drained efficiently towards a downspout may begin to pool water. Steel troughs are common in Edmonton (the aluminum ones get beat up by hail too easily and expand and contract too much with the temperature swings), and if water pools in a trough for long enough, they’ll rust through. Getting a cleaning and inspection from a company that knows what they’re doing can prevent a gutter replacement expense.
In Case of Gutter Failure
Unless you have high quality gutter guards, even with regular maintenance there will come a day your eavestrough system will fail.
You can have a perfectly sloped system, and a metal roof that drops no grit and there will be a day when a neighbourhood kid lobs a nerf football onto your roof and it plunks itself nose down into your downspout outlet, creating a perfect drain plug.
Before this day comes it would behoove you to have a look around the landscape surrounding your house and examine the grading there. The soil right up against your home should be higher than elsewhere in your yard and slope away from your house so that naughty rain that misses your eavestroughs still gets escorted safely away from your home.
Are Gutter Guards Any Good?
Are they any good? I say yes, with qualifications. There are anecdotes abound of gutter guards worsening homeowner’s problems with their gutters. We’ve installed gutter guards for over three years now and have yet to get a call back for any issues. We have; however, been asked to clean homes with gutter guards that are causing all kinds of problems.