gutter clean out

Why Regular Gutter Clean-Out Should Be on Your Home Maintenance List Year-Round

Maintaining your home is a full-time job, and the frequency with which some tasks should be done can be surprising to even seasoned veteran homeowners. Gutter clean-out is one of those tasks. While it can make sense, at first glance, to assume it’s something you only need to handle after the trees finish dropping their leaves for the year, this isn’t actually the case.

Understanding the Role Gutter Clean-Out Plays in Protecting Your Home

For most of us, your home is your single largest investment. You want to protect that investment not only to guard its value but also to keep your family safe, dry, and out of the elements. On the surface, gutters can seem like an insignificant weapon in the fight against damage to your home. But lean in a bit closer, and you may be surprised just how hard these often-forgotten fighters work to keep your home safe.

Water is the number one enemy when protecting your home from damage. Gutters are the first line of defense for your home’s foundation against erosion by diverting water away through a system of gutters, pipes, and downspouts. 

Ideally, your gutters are clean as a whistle, and water flow is never obstructed by organic debris, rodent activity, or pounds of fallen leaves. Instead, water falls from the sky and rolls down your roof and into your gutters, where it is swiftly diverted from sensitive areas. 

Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world. Leaves fall and clog gutters, but they also make ideal nesting places for squirrels and other rodents, along with all manner of insect and microbial activity. Small animals can die in the gutters and become lodged in a downspout, obstructing water flow and often resulting in foul, hard to locate odors. And while common wisdom holds that trees tend to stop losing leaves after their limbs are bare, Mother Nature never sleeps. Absent fallen leaves, small animals are still fond of nesting in gutters. Sticks and seed pods fall from trees, and small limbs are detached during spring and winter storms. In short, your gutters are taking a beating all year long.

What You Should Know About Gutter Clean-Out Chores

It’s best to clean your gutters at least twice each year: before the leaves begin to bud in the summer and after the trees have dropped their bounty in winter. This allows you to keep sparkling gutters all year round, which does more than just protect the foundation of your home. 

Clogged gutters hold moisture, which can eventually begin to rot the surrounding fascia and even affect shingles along the roofline. Water can discover its way into your home through these damaged areas, leading to even bigger and more expensive headaches. Gutter guards aren’t the smoking gun solution to end all gutter clean-out sessions. The mesh that prevents leaves and debris from falling into your gutter eventually becomes covered with fallen leaves that completely obstruct water flow into the gutters themselves.  This puts you on track to end up with roof and fascia damage, so be sure to clean even gutters with guards at least twice per year.

Many home maintenance tasks are perfect for the handy homeowner to DIY, but there are others you should think twice about before springing into action. For example, gutter clean-out requires you to be comfortable on a ladder and well-versed in how to use it safely. This means having at least one other person working with you to steady the ladder while you’re on it. Bagging leaves, debris, decayed organic matter, and plenty of creepy crawlies living in the gutter mean you’ll need both hands to scoop, so you’ll also need another set of hands to hold the bag open. 

Or you can call in professionals who know their way around home exterior cleaning and gutter clean-outs while also knowing a thing or two about ladder safety. Carolina Power Washing is a firefighter-owned company with firefighters on staff, and ladder safety is top priority. Ready to commit to gutter clean-out once and for all? Carolina Power Washing can help.