How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

Are you wondering how often should you clean your gutters? Well, you’re in the right place, so wonder no longer. 

In premise, the answer to that question is highly variable, and the most obvious approach to cleaning gutters is when they are dirty. However, what constitutes dirty gutters, and what other elements can damage their integrity?

In this article, we will cover all of that and much more.

So get your gear ready and keep reading to learn more.

How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

As mentioned earlier, like most questions involving frequency, the answer is unstable. It really depends on many factors. 

For instance, many specialists say that cleaning your gutters twice a year is more than enough. Once in the summer and once in the spring. But it’s not that simple.

If you have overbearing trees growing around and about your house, you should consider taking a look at your gutters every 2 months. The reason for this is because trees, especially pine trees shed their needles all year round. 

Also, if your home is located at a higher elevation, ice is a considerable issue. So you need to make sure that your gutters are clean throughout the winter because the consequence of damage to your roof is less than wished for. 

Better to prevent the issue before it occurs. Considering this, let’s take a look at how you can spot damage from dirty gutters.

Spot Damage From Dirty Gutters

The most optimal way to finding damage from dirty gutters is before it’s there. Wait, what? 

Yes, you heard that right. An inspection of your gutters each season, especially before it starts raining is the best way to approach this. If you’re unsure what to look for or feel uncomfortable with heights and ladders, a professional can do the work for you.

Here are some warning signs that you should look out for in your yard, home, and gutters. 

Pools of water near foundation, driveway, or on the law. All of these are resultative of water not draining properly. It might also mean that the downspouts are not linked appropriately. 

Water where it should not be. Is there water in your basement? Drips inside your home? This might mean that your roof is at risk of water damage. 

Gutters not draining or dripping. This might mean that your gutters are clogged or leaking somewhere, this is not a good thing.

Bugs in your home? Mice in the walls and attic? All of these signs are resemblant of nesting in your clogged gutters.

Furthermore, these issues might constitute a replacement, which is a costly result of not cleaning your gutters.

Do I Need to Replace the Gutters?

You might have to. Depending on the type installed, they should be able to hold out at least 20 years of function, but that’s only if they have been installed properly, not to mention maintenance.

Metal gutters last longer. Plastic and vinyl not so much, and must be replaced more often, especially when damaged. 

Seamless gutters are very expensive but are unlikely to leak. Gutter guards can prevent leaves and debris from getting into the gutters in the first place.

In any case, neglecting regular maintenance and not installing gutters correctly will drastically deplete its longevity. The only way to be sure if the gutters are in need of replacement is to get them inspected by an expert roofer. 

However, in general, a quick look should be able to help you determine whether or not an issue is present. 

How to Clean Gutters?

You might think that cleaning gutters is hard, and you are most certainly right. But not in the sense of difficulty, but in the sense of convenience. Gutter cleaning is messy, tedious, and dangerous. 

The true and tried method of gutter cleaning is by hand, but a pressured water hose can help you get rid of clogs as well. Here are some tips to make the job safer, easier, and more efficient, however, it’s always recommended that you hire a specialist for the job:

  • Wear appropriate protective gear, such as eye protection and work gloves
  • Don’t just toss the dirt on the ground, put it in a bag for compost or garbage (leaving it will attract insects)
  • Pay attention to mold, if you find any sign of mold, contact your local roofing/gutter specialist immediately
  • Seal all leaks (one can do this with a high-quality sealant but it’s best left to be done by professionals)
  • Whenever working on a roof or with a ladder, there’s a possibility of injury so be careful, have someone help, and don’t overdo it

And that’s about it. Gutter cleaning can even be fun if you get the hang of it. However, if you feel unsafe about this type of process, contact a local specialist who will be able to perform the cleaning for you at a reasonable price.

And that’s worth the weight of gold.

Gutter Services for You

Now that you know how often should you clean your gutters, you are well on your way to ensure that no further damage occurs to your household. As long as you take a considerate approach to your gutters, you will never see the day when they come to bring unwanted issues.

If you’re interested in getting your gutters clean but don’t want to do it on your own, get in touch with us and we will happily accommodate your needs.

5 Big Benefits of Gutter Cleaning This Summer

As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. In Chicago, we should be thinking more about August showers, since August gets the most rain per year on average!

If you don’t prepare your gutters for the Chicago summer storms, you may face a few problems that are much harder to tackle.

Fortunately, gutter cleaning is both cost-effective and easy with the help of professional gutter cleaning services!

Read on for the top 5 benefits of gutter cleaning and spare yourself some expensive issues down the line.

1. Protect Your Roof

You’ve probably noticed that most rooftops are built with a slight slant or incline that leads to the gutter. This enables heavy rainfall to make its way down your roof and into your gutter so that it can be safely redirected.

When your gutter is clogged, water may begin to pool around the edges of your roof. When water pools on shingles, it can seep between the cracks, weakening the shingles’ hold and damaging the underlayment. Over time, you may begin to lose shingles and your roof may develop holes where water damage is particularly severe.

When your roof is damaged, you risk leakage that can lead to mold, mildew, and structural damage in your home’s interior.

2. Protect Your Yard

If your gutter’s job is to collect rainfall, your downspout’s job is to direct that rainfall to a designated area of your yard. Many builders place the downspout in an area that has an incline so that the water continues to disperse throughout the yard, rather than pooling in one spot. 

If your gutters are clogged, water that doesn’t get trapped on the roof can cascade over the gutter in sheets. As a result, your grass, mulch, and other landscaped elements will become water-logged or wash away altogether.

3. Avoid an Unwanted Rooftop Garden

Chicagoans with seasonal allergies will be the first to tell you that this spring has brought a historically high pollen count. In other words, we’ve seen an unusually high amount of pollen floating through the air, feeding plants left and right.

Gutters become clogged with a number of things, from fallen leaves to broken branches and twigs. As this debris breaks down, it creates a nice, organic bed for plants to grow in. Meanwhile, that pollen that’s making you sneeze is also feeding the plants that are trying to grow in your gutter.

If plants start popping up in your gutter, you’re in need of some serious gutter cleaning and you may want to act on it fast! These growing plants are adding to the weight and pressure on your gutter. Over time, you’ll start to see sagging and cracking along your gutter that could cause residual damage to your roof and walls.

4. Dismantle Pest Habitats

Plants aren’t the only things that thrive in a clogged gutter. A variety of pests will also gladly set up camp amidst the debris.

While you may not mind a robin’s nest or two, some birds are territorial after nesting and laying their eggs. For example, swallows, which have made their way across all of North America, will dive-bomb humans and pets who get too close to their precious cargo. The last thing you want is to face a bird attack when you’re walking the dog or bringing in the groceries!

Bees, wasps, and hornets have also been found in clogged gutters. Not only is this a risk for the members of your household but it could also be a risk for your bank account. Due to premises liability law, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that you could find yourself facing a lawsuit after a guest got stung by a pest living in your gunked up gutter!

5. Reduce Your Risk of a Cracked Foundation

Perhaps one of the most costly side effects of a clogged gutter is a cracked foundation. The foundation of your home rests below the ground and is made of either wood or cement. This is what provides your house a level surface to stand on and keeps your support beams and other structural elements from sinking or tilting.

A downspout’s most important job is to divert water away from your foundation. The same gushing water that could destroy your garden could make its way underground, causing your foundation to swell, shift, or crack.

Depending on the type of foundation your house is built upon and the age of your property, you may not be able to recover a damaged foundation at all. In the event that you can, it won’t be cheap or quick. 

Even if water damage leads to a minor crack in your foundation, this issue can’t be ignored. Between the pressure of the house and the changes in temperature and moisture, a small crack in your foundation will deepen over time.

Gutter Cleaning in Chicago, IL

Gutter cleaning is something that every Chicago homeowner should add to their spring cleaning to-do list. It’s far less expensive than having your roof, landscaping, or foundation repaired. It’s also less daunting than dealing with some mysterious or finicky pests.

If you’re looking for professional gutter cleaning in the Chicago area, you’ve come to the right place. At My Window Washing, we’ll do more than clean your windows and power wash your property. We’ll also clean your gutter!

Contact us to schedule an appointment or receive a free estimate on the work you need to be done. We’ll even throw in a coupon or two

More About Our Gutter Cleaning Services

At My Window Washing, we do windows – and we do a number of other things for customers. But our gutter cleaning services are a vital part of what we offer, partly because this much-needed maintenance may be difficult for property owners to perform themselves, and partly because avoiding it can be expensive. 

Here are some of the major reasons that we get calls for gutter cleaning at a property.

Ladder Safety

For DIY people who want to do everything themselves, it may be tempting to simply get on the ladder and clean out the gutters on a regular basis. However, for anyone who’s aging or has significant mobility problems, or even for those of us with poor coordination or balance, ladder safety is an important part of this equation.

Falling off a ladder can cost you thousands of dollars. Even if it’s only an ER visit, the costs can greatly exceed any savings you would’ve gotten from cleaning your own gutters for about 50 years! Sometimes, things like this are best left to the pros, where specialized insurance is in play for those types of unfortunate situations, and crews are trained to avoid these injuries. 

Hard-to-Reach Spots

You might have a one-story rancher with pretty reasonable gutters – where you can just stand up an 8-foot ladder and get right up there. But there may be corners and crevices that are just beyond your reach, and there again, you’re running into ladder safety issues. Lean the wrong way, and you could end up generating those thousand-dollar hospital bills we talked about above. Also, how will the gutter handle the weight of your ladder – and you? Pros know exactly how to approach a gutter system, but unless you’ve specialized in this work, you might end up actually damaging your gutters.

The Cost of Neglect

Another option is to just hope that not too much dirt and debris flows into your gutters over time – but that’s really just wishful thinking.

Without good annual gutter maintenance, it doesn’t take long for sediment to build up and clog gutters and downspouts. Presently, you’ll see water seeping into your basement and creating water damage and mold and other problems. It’s even common for plants to grow in your gutters as seeds drift up there along with the other detritus.

Call My Window Washing if you need your gutters cleaned on a regular basis. You’ll find that hiring the pros to do your gutters is a bargain in the long run – and it’s easy!

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.

Continue reading “Clogged Gutters? Here Are 7 Tell-Tale Signs Your Gutters Need Cleaning”

Clean Gutters Make Happy Homes

Home ownership requires that we maintain the exterior of our houses in order to insure their longevity.  People tend to think about performing these chores in the spring and fall of the year, times of renewal and preparation for the seasons to come.

Gutters are important parts of our home’s defense system, providing channels that direct water flow off and away from our homes structure.  Unfortunately, these systems can only work well if they are free from debris and damage, making adding gutter cleaning and repair an important task to your seasonal home chores.

Keeping gutters in working condition has benefits that many do not realize. Of course it decreases the chance of water damage to your roof and home, especially after heavy rains, but it can be more complicated than that.  There are some other little known consequences of not keeping gutters in good working order that can have big effects on your home.

Gutters that are filled with leaves and debris create a tempting habitat for a variety of pests such as mice, mosquitos, squirrels, roaches and other bugs.  Once these pests begin making homes in gutters, they can begin to infest the roof eaves, and other parts of our home, creating damage along their way.

Damaged and clogged gutters can also cause cracks and holes to develop in the home’s foundation and walls, making perfect entrances for pests and mold. These problems can persist to entail damage to the very foundation of the home, causing costly repairs and threatening the safety of the structure.

If clogged gutters begins to erode the soil around and away from the home, foundation shifting is possible, as well as drowned landscaping and grass lawns.  This flooding can proceed to basements and lead to cracks in walls and chimneys that can be expensive to correct.

Also expensive to repair or replace a damaged roof.  Water damage can quickly compromise the roof, leading to leaks and structural disrepair that can mean major reconstruction. This can be especially significant in climates where snow and ice can build up in gutters, melting slowly and creating breakage that can lead to water soaked joints and overhangs.  

There are many reasons to keep your home’s gutter system clean, and several ways to do so. Leaf blowers can be used, although this can be cumbersome and difficult to maneuver in high places.  You can also grab the ladder and hand clean along the gutters to remove debris, mildew, and mold, however this can be a tedious and time consuming job.

Hiring a professional gutter cleaning professional to come two or three times a year, or on an as needed basis, can free your mind of worry and leave you with time for other chores.  My Window Washing provides experienced and professional technicians to clean your property’s gutters, as well as wash windows and siding and other needs you may have.  Making your gutters a priority when it comes to maintenance and cleaning will keep your home in shape for years to come.