Why You Should Never Attempt to Clean the Gutters Yourself

Clogged Gutters? Here Are 7 Tell-Tale Signs Your Gutters Need Cleaning

clogged gutters

The average homeowner needs to budget between 1 and 3 percent of their home’s value just to maintain their house. But if your home has clogged gutters, that budget could skyrocket.

Believe it or not, gutter clogs can do some serious damage to your house, putting you and your loved ones at risk for mold if you’re not careful. The best thing you can do is get those clogs removed as quickly as possible.

But how can you tell when it’s time to schedule a cleaning? Watch for these tell-tale signs.

1. Water Flows Over Them, Not Through Them

Your gutters work to direct runoff and excess water from your roof to a designated drainage area. When they’re not clogged, they catch the runoff from rainstorms and snowmelt.

From there, the water runs through the gutters and away from your house.

The next time it’s raining, take a moment to watch where the water’s flowing. If it’s falling over the edge of your gutters rather than flowing through them, it’s time to have your gutters cleaned.

This is the easiest way to prevent major damage either to your roof or your home’s siding.

2. You Notice Sagging Along the Gutter Channels

Fallen leaves may seem light on their own. But they’re not the only things that collect in your gutters. Sticks, roofing materials, dirt, and debris all settle in the gutter channel over time.

When enough debris collects inside your gutters, it starts to get heavy fast. And when that debris gets wet, it gets even heavier.

Over time, you’ll likely start to see the gutters sag under the weight. You may also notice that the gutter channels start to pull away from the side of your home.

This is a surefire sign that you need a good gutter cleaning. Once the debris gets removed, you may be able to reattach or reshape the gutters to fully protect your home.

Keep in mind that if the damage is severe, you may need to replace your gutters entirely

3. Pests and Birds Hang Out in Your Gutters

Clogged gutters are a safe haven for pests, birds, and unwanted rodents. The decomposing debris and leaves create both warmth and moisture, turning your gutters into the perfect nesting spot.

Head outside and pay attention to what the wildlife is doing. If you see birds perched on your gutters more often than not or notice squirrels burrowing into them, have them cleaned immediately.

Leaving the clogs in place puts your home at risk for pest infestation and roof damage. Both of these issues are incredibly expensive to deal with. Cleaning your gutters, however, is incredibly affordable.

4. You Notice Puddles Around the Base of Your House

Remember that designated drainage spot mentioned earlier? It’s important because it protects your home’s foundation from water damage and cracking.

If you notice puddles collecting around the base of your house, it’s likely because you have clogged gutters. When your gutters are full of clogs, water has no choice but to fall over the edge of them.

This then creates puddles at the base of your home which, over time, can soak into the concrete foundation. If left unchecked, you’ll likely start to notice cracks and water damage.

Though your homeowner’s insurance policy may help cover the cost of repairs, it’s far better to prevent them in the first place.

5. There’s Green Stuff Growing in Your Gutters

Plant matter collecting in your gutters traps moisture and starts to decompose, turning into an ideal planting mix. This gives any seeds that fall into your gutter system a perfect place to sprout and grow.

Pay attention to the look of your gutters. If you notice any green popping out over the edge or see green trails of algae collecting on the roof or your siding, schedule a cleaning immediately.

Though it can take time for these issues to do damage, the sooner you get your gutters cleaned, the better off your home will be.

6. You Notice Icicles During the Winter

Icicles may add to a festive ambiance when the temps drop, but they’re not the best thing to have along your roofline. They put you and your loved ones at risk for injuries when they fall. But they can also be a sign of some serious clogs in your gutters.

If snow and ice can’t melt off your roof and into your gutters, it flows over the side. And when the temperatures are low enough, that melting ice will re-freeze, forming into icicles.

When you notice icicles, schedule a gutter cleaning. This will help keep your property and your family safer even when the winter weather gets bad.

7. You Can’t Remember the Last Time They Got Cleaned

Ideally, you should have your gutters cleaned at least twice a year, once in the spring and again before winter. But life happens and sometimes, it’s easy to forget about those infrequent maintenance tasks.

If you can’t remember the last time your gutters got cleaned, it’s time to schedule an appointment. Chances are that you have enough buildup inside your gutter system to cause a clog if it’s not removed quickly.

Even if your gutters aren’t clogged, they could have weak points or minor damage that need to get fixed for the system to work properly. During the cleaning, you’ll find out if everything is still in good shape.

Do You Need Help with Clogged Gutters?

Clogged gutters may not seem like an emergency, but the sooner you get them cleaned, the better. But that doesn’t mean you should try to do it yourself. Instead, leave the cleaning to the pros.

After a professional cleaning, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your gutters are in good shape and can safely direct water away from your house.

If you’re worried about the state of your gutters, schedule an appointment with our experienced team.