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Gutter Cleaning: When & How Often

by Jul 9,2023

Gutter cleaning is an ongoing home maintenance task. You have to regularly maintain gutters to avoid clogged downspouts, gutter clogs, pest infestations and water runoff issues. But you might be wondering: When should I clean my gutters?

In the Minneapolis area, we recommend gutter cleanings twice per year. You should clean your gutters in the spring and fall. However, there are factors that can affect how often you should clean your gutters. For example, certain tree species around the home, overhanging trees, or large gutter systems may all require more frequent cleanings.

This gutter cleaning guide answers all the questions you might have about when you should clean your gutters, including:

  • Signs that your gutters need to be cleaned
  • Best seasons to clean gutters
  • Reasons you might need frequent gutter cleanings

Signs that Your Gutters Need to Be Cleaned

There are some telltale signs that your gutters may be clogged or that you should have them cleaned ASAP. And you don’t want to wait either. In winter, the water that sits in clogged gutters freezes, and it can result in problems like ice dams, cracking gutters, and even gutters breaking away from the home.

Generally, you should clean your gutters as soon as possible, if you notice:

  • Plant growth – Plants growing from the gutters indicate clogs and a buildup of organic material.
  • Birds or insects – Clogged gutters provide habitat for mosquitos, nesting birds, wasps, and other pests and insects. You should schedule gutter cleaning if you notice either.
  • Stained exteriors – Water running over clogged gutters tends to discolor a home’s siding. If you notice water stains, mold growth, or discoloration on the siding, it’s likely time to clean the gutters.
  • Sagging gutters – Clogged gutters collect water, which results in a significant load for the system to carry. This becomes especially problematic in winter, because snow and ice increase the load, and can result in gutters breaking away from the home.
  • Standing water – If you notice standing water in the gutters, or if water is pooling underneath the gutters, it’s likely time for them to be cleaned.

One question to ask: How long has it been since I last cleaned my gutters? If it’s more than 1 year, generally, the system should be cleaned and flushed as soon as possible.

Seasonal Clean Gutters: When You Should Do It

Generally, the best time to clean gutters in Minneapolis – St. Paul is in the late spring, and after the fall foliage season. We recommend that you clean them twice per year:

  • Spring – Many tree species bud in the spring and begin to drop buds later in the spring. Pollen, late fall foliage (from the previous season), and heavy rains, tend to make spring a good time for a thorough cleaning.
  • Fall – Typically, you’ll want to wait until later in the season, to allow trees to drop their foliage. Timing is critical. If you wait too long, the gutters can begin to clog, and the water will freeze, making it difficult to remove the debris.

Generally, twice per year cleanings will suffice. However, some properties may require cleanings 3 to 4 times per year, especially if the conditions are right.

How Often Should Gutters Be Cleaned?

At a minimum, your home’s gutters should be cleaned every fall. However, twice per year is highly recommended. Many of the tree species in our area are notorious for dropping foliage and clogging gutters.

Some of the factors that affect the number of times per year you should clean your gutters include:

  • Length of gutters – Large gutter systems may require more regular cleanings. This is especially true if there are a number of mature trees on the property. The longer gutter system will collect more debris, and as a result, they’re more susceptible to clogs.
  • Tree species – Pine needles can quickly collect in downspouts and clog gutter systems. If there are a number of pine trees on your property, regular cleanings, 3-4 times per year, are recommended.
  • Number of trees – If there are many overhanging trees on your property, it’s a good idea to consider more frequent gutter cleanings. A number of mature trees can drop foliage no matter the season – spring, summer and fall – and as a result, cleanings every 3 months are recommended.

Get an estimate for gutter cleaning today from Clean and Clear. We make it easy to estimate the cost of gutter cleaning, and provide quotes to our customers. Schedule an appointment today!

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