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6 Frequently Asked Questions about Gutter Cleaning

Updated: Apr 26

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Your gutter system is instrumental in maintaining the integrity of your home. When your gutters and downspouts get clogged up, water can not flow freely which can create a lot of problems. Properly maintaining your gutters is the key to preserving the area around your home where water can be detrimental. Here are 6 frequently asked questions regarding gutter cleaning.

How often should you clean your gutters?

This depends on how deep of a cleaning you are doing. You can either only blow the leaves to allow for water

Gutter Cleaning

flow, or do a more efficient cleaning which wouldn’t be needed as often. The quick clean for leaf removal would need to be done more often.

It is recommended to do the quick clean one to three times per year. The best times to do a quick clean are after the leaves fall later in the year around November. You can do another cleaning at the end of December and then once more near the end of spring so your gutters can be prepared for rain in the summer.

What is included in gutter cleaning?

Inside Cleaning 

When you get your gutters cleaned by a professional, they are most often just blowing out all of the large debris from the trough. However, you can also get someone to wash out the inside of the gutters. Washing the inside will get rid of mildew and shingle grit. 

Shingle grit is sometimes left in the gutter after cleanings because it doesn’t necessarily stop or block water flow.  The grit reduces water capacity when it is allowed to build up after many many years. Well pitched gutters may see almost no shingle grit build up at all. The inside of the spouts need to be checked and maintained as well but are often overlooked. Spouts are prone to clogging near the S section at the top of the gutter or right above the lower elbow at the bottom of the spout. 

Outside Cleaning

The outside of the gutters are usually maintained during a house washing or painting and are not traditionally done by gutter cleaning companies. Some gutter companies will wash the outside by request but this is usually on a case by case basis. 

What do you clean gutters with?

Clean by hand

Gutter Cleaning Maintenance

Cleaning gutters by hand is a simple method. Reach in and remove all of the debris by hand and dispose of it. Be sure to always wear gloves. Bacteria, spiders, snakes, and bees/wasps tend to make gutters their home. Wear gloves and stay safe. Wiping out the bottom of a gutter with a damp rag or soft bristle brush is ideal. 

Professional tools

These tools may include a ladders, leaf blower, a pressure washer, soft bristle brush, and rags. 

What types of gutters need to be cleaned?

All gutters, accessories, and systems need to be cleaned, even gutters with leaf guards. The only thing that changes is how often the cleanings are needed.

Some sales representatives will tell you your gutters are maintenance free, but that would be the same as a car salesman saying you never have to wash your car. Anyone who wants their gutter to last should be encouraged to keep them cleaned and maintained. Purchasing an easy to maintain system can reduce the headache when it comes time for a cleaning.

Can you avoid gutter cleaning?

Gutter cleaning can be avoided in three different ways. 

   1.Cut all the trees down that are within 100 yards of your home.

   2.Purchase a gutter guard or leaf guard system. 

   3.Build your home taller than the trees. 

Even after all of this some maintenance is still needed every 5-7 years to ensure the gutters are flowing and working properly.

Gutter Cleaning

How much does gutter cleaning cost?

Cleaning your own gutters is the most affordable option. Although cleaning your own gutters may be more affordable, it could end up being costly due to injury or causing damage to your system.

If you don’t have experience working on a ladder or roof, you could be compromising your safety by trying to do the job yourself. Falling off a ladder or roof could lead to injury and cost you more in unfortunate doctor bills. 

If you decide to hire a friend or family member to do the job, this option can also be affordable. It may cost you $25-$30, but there are some similar problems that could arise from you doing the job yourself. If the person doing the job gets injured in the process by falling off a ladder, you may be held responsible for medical bills. If the person doesn’t really know what they are doing, you could be paying for bad service and not getting the result you were hoping for.

Hiring a professional could cost you anywhere from $50 to $700 depending on the size of your home and the extent of the cleaning. Pressure washing the gutters or washing the inside of the downspouts can cost more than regular cleanings. Although it may cost more to hire a professional, you can feel confident in the job being done correctly. 

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