8 Signs It’s Time to Clean Your Gutter

by | Aug 16,2017

You know that your gutters require maintenance a couple of times a year. But it’s easy for this task to slip your mind. Clogged gutters aren’t as painfully obvious as the lawn that needs cutting or the ceiling that needs repainting. While the outside of your gutters are visible, the inner workings are not, and this is usually where your problem areas are located.

If you tend to forget about your gutters, here are eight signs it’s time for a gutter cleaning!

gutter cleaning time

1. Animals Are Crawling Inside Them

If you have a few bugs living in your gutter, that’s one thing. The problem arises when animals start making themselves a little too comfortable there.

Squirrels, mice, rats, frogs, lizards, opossums, raccoons; these aren’t the types of animals you want as house pets. All of that compressed debris makes for a warm and comfy home for these little critters.

If your gutters start looking like a hotel suite for animals, it’s time for a cleaning!

 

2. Birds Are Nesting Inside Them

Gutters don’t just make a great home for our four-legged friends. They can be the perfect spot for a bird to nest. A clogged gutter has all of the material readily available that they need to build a nest.

If you start seeing signs of nesting, it’s time to call the gutter cleaners. They will know how to gently handle and remove nests before getting rid of the debris.

3. Plants Are Growing Inside Them

It’s great to keep up a beautiful landscape outside your home. Lovely flowers, well-trimmed grass, and a few trees add a nice touch. But not when they are coming from your gutters!

An awful lot of dirt gets washed into your gutters from the roof. Enough of that dirt and debris can cause plants to take root (usually weeds, grasses, and even plants and flowers). The seeds get blown into the gutter by the wind and get watered by rain. Next thing you know you have little green plants sprouting up.

When your gutters have turned into your personal planting pots, it’s high time to get them cleaned.

4. Waterfalls Are Flowing From Them

Waterfalls are magnificent. Many people are not only moved by their beauty but by the calming sounds of nature’s water. That said, let’s stick to Niagara Falls rather than your clogged gutters!

When your gutters are clogged, runoff water will spill off the sides and onto the ground, creating a mini waterfall. Over time this can cause expensive damage to the foundation.

Rainfall is particularly heavy during the summer and spring months in Minneapolis, so gutter cleaning is critical to allow that excessive water to run through.

Water should never spill over a well-functioning gutter. If you see even a small leak spilling over, let alone a waterfall, it’s time to clean out the clogs from the inside of your gutter.

5. Your Gutters Are Sagging

Leaves, debris, and water can get heavy. When it remains in the gutters for a long time, the excess weight will begin to wear on it. This pressure can lead to sagging gutters or even complete detachment.

If you notice pulling, sagging or detachment of your gutter, not only will they need to be cleaned but probably repaired as well.

6. The Season Is Changing

In Minneapolis, gutter cleaning is of particular importance surrounding the seasons. Minneapolis weather can be rather unpredictable. The spring and summer months account for heavy rain and thunderstorms, so you want to make sure your gutters are cleaned to allow for the water to flow through.

Winter calls for a lot of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. If you don’t clean out your gutters before the winter season, it can freeze and create more difficulty including ice dams.

7. You Have a Leaky Roof

Cleaning your gutters might be a pain, but dealing with a leaky roof is an even bigger headache. Water that doesn’t drain to the ground can accumulate on the roof. It can soak through shingles and cause significant and costly damage.

Replacing or even just repairing your roof is a major undertaking. It’s best to take the step of preventing it by regularly cleaning out your gutters.

8. You Can’t Remember the Last Time Your Gutter Was Cleaned

Ideally, gutter cleaning happens twice a year. In places where the climate is extreme and unpredictable, such as Minneapolis, gutter cleaning may be appropriate up to four times per year. If you can’t remember the last time your gutters were cleaned out, you may want to take a look and see if the time has come.

Gutter cleaning is easy to forget about, but it’s an important part of home maintenance. Keeping your gutters clean is a small price to pay for protecting your home from even worse damage.

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