Home Gutters Why Gutter Cleaning is So Important

Why Gutter Cleaning is So Important

The importance of gutter cleaning is comparable to maintaining your roof. Many of us would panic if we thought the roof of our home was in peril. While regular gutter cleaning might seem less important, the opposite is true.

Gutter cleaning is more vital than you might realize for the overall health of your home. This is especially the case if your home is in a temperate region with many trees, lots of precipitation, wind, and even wildfires. 

Working gutter systems collect runoff from water, snow, and ice melt as it exits the roof. The runoff is directed towards a vertical downspout which controls the water volume to the ground, often terminating onto a splash block.

Without a guttering system, water runoff would fall from the roof onto the ground below. Standing water in the gutters also attracts insects such as mosquitos. Even worse, a failed gutter system could prevent water from moving off the roof, allowing it to sit and damage your roof’s shingles and seep into your home. It’s easy to see why gutter cleaning is so important.

Poorly installed or maintained gutters often suffer from sagging due to the extra weight the debris applies to the gutter hangers. Sagging often results in overflows and leaks, which can cause erosion to foundations and landscapes.

We’ll expand on the reasons to clean gutters on your home and show why gutter cleaning is important. We’ll also provide practical tips for doing it safely and effectively if you choose to do it yourself rather than hire a gutter cleaning company.

What are the Risks of Not Cleaning Your Gutters?

Stormwater can cause unusually high volumes of water to land on your roof. Left uncontrolled, water will travel to foundation footings, landscaping, and other areas vulnerable to moving water erosion.

Another common gutter problem occurs when debris clogs gutters, leaving too little space in the gutter for water runoff.

Ignoring gutter cleaning until damage occurs results in expensive repairs for your home.

Here’s a look at a few common gutter problems:


Leaves, twigs, pine needles, bird nests, and other debris can easily compact in your gutters and form a significant clog. Left unaddressed, the weight of the undrained water will place too much strain on the fasteners, causing a sag.

This usually causes one or more fasteners to loosen, which often leads to an overflow. Left uncontrolled, the runoff will fall to the ground and form a rut, leading to erosion of the soil. 

Damage and Deterioration

Physical damage, or damage caused by rust and corrosion, can cause your gutters to stop working. Many homeowners have professional gutter cleaning companies maintain and inspect their gutters automatically on a regular schedule to avoid this problem. 

Leaks and Water Damage

Leaks and overflows can cause water damage to the roof, siding, foundation, basement, and landscaping of your home. These water-related problems are expensive to repair. That’s why regular gutter cleaning is so vital to the health of both your home and your wallet. Preventing water damage is exponentially less expensive than repairing it. 

Ice Dams and Icicles Formation

Ice dams are formed when snow and ice melt flow toward the gutters re-freeze, preventing additional runoff from ever reaching the gutter system. Adding insulation to your home’s eaves can help prevent ice dams and icicles. 

Pest infestation and Mold growth

Damaging pests are attracted to moist wood, stagnant water, and rotted debris in your gutters. The whole point of gutter design is to prevent water flow disruption. However, when runoff cannot drain, the water attracts pests and their prey.

Mold growth is another result of stagnant water and is especially hazardous to residential occupants with sensitivities. Waterlogged fascia and soffit boards act as a sponge when gutters overflow, often leading to significant wood rot.

Dry Debris Is a Fire Hazard

After the debris that clogs your gutters dries out, it becomes a potential fire hazard. The dry leaves and debris in the gutters can act as kindling if a nearby open spark becomes airborne.

Most residential roofs are made from combustible materials, so keeping flammable debris away from your gutters is wise.

How to Clean Your Gutters Yourself

If you are a do-it-yourselfer and want to attempt cleaning your gutters, here are a few tips from our gutter pros:

  • Choose a suitable time of year and season to perform your gutter cleaning. Ideally, the spring or fall is best, but your home may need more frequent attention.
  • Gather the tools you’ll need for your gutter cleaning, like a ladder, gloves, eye protection, bucket, rope, gutter trowel, and garden hose.
  • Set up your ladder safely and securely on as level ground as possible, ideally near a downspout. Have a helper to lower the bucket and help steady the ladder.
  • Remove any large debris from the gutters by hand or with a trowel, and put it in the bucket. Be careful not to add too much weight to the bucket to avoid breaking off the handle. Then using a rope, you can safely lower it to the ground.
  • Flush out any small debris or dirt from the gutters with a hose or a pressure washer. A garden hose is best if you have enough water pressure. A pressure washer can put the user off-balance, which is the last thing you want while standing on a wet roof.
  • Locate and clear any clogs or blockages in the downspouts with a hose or a plumber’s snake if necessary. This can help dislodge a particularly stubborn clog.
  • Repair any damage to the fascia or leaks in the gutters and downspouts with caulk or sealer. If you skip this step, the problem will reoccur. Always make structural repairs if your gutters appear to be sagging or twisting.

How to Hire a Professional Gutter Cleaning Service

If your roof walking days are over, the best option is to hire a local, respected gutter cleaning service for your gutter system. 

Here are a few tips to help you find a great gutter cleaning company:

  • Experienced and Reputable: Find a gutter cleaning company that has been cleaning gutters for at least a decade and has a good reputation and positive reviews online.
  • License and Insurance: If a gutter cleaning service cannot easily provide hard copies of licensing, insurance, and references, skip them and keep looking. 
  • Warranty and Guarantee: Search for a gutter cleaning service that backs up their work with a warranty. 
  • Reliable Estimates and Cost: When contacting gutter cleaners, ask for a written estimate. Ensure the estimate is well-detailed, outlining all the work to be rendered and the complete charges they expect to bill you.
  • Works Around Your Schedule: A well-qualified gutter cleaning company will accommodate your preferred time and date for your gutter cleaning. Avoid companies that won’t accommodate you and make allowances for your busy schedule.

Gutter Cleaning Is Just as Important as Maintaining Your Roof

Hopefully, we’ve shed some light on why gutter cleaning is important and have given you a few reasons to keep your home’s gutters clean.

The benefits of cleaning gutters regularly include an optimally-performing gutter system, fewer repairs around your home and gutters, improved curb appeal, and a longer life for your gutter system, roof, and home. Alternatively, the consequences of ignoring your gutters could be disastrous for your home and your bank account. 

If you’re ready to try your hand at gutter cleaning, remember to follow the steps we’ve provided to keep yourself and those on the ground as safe as possible. 

But if you’re like most homeowners and prefer to get help from a gutter professional, contact us for a free estimate. Our gutter experts will ensure your gutters are functional and efficient. We strive for customer satisfaction and can’t wait to add you to our list of happy customers. We serve homeowners coast-to-coast and will put our best local gutter contractors to work for you.

Gutter Cleaning FAQs

What can happen if you don’t clean your gutters?

Clogs from debris stuck in your gutters will prevent the smooth flow of rainwater. If your gutters cannot drain the runoff, they will eventually pull away from the fascia and cause water damage.

Is it worth it to clean gutters?

One of the best investments for your home you can make is keeping its gutters clean. Regular gutter cleaning isn’t exciting, but neither is changing the oil in your car. But both extend the life of your purchase, so keeping your gutters clean protects your investment in your home.

How often should you clean your gutters?

Generally, you should clean your gutters at least twice per year, but many regions require four cleanings per year. An unplanned cleaning is sometimes necessary to restore your gutter system to full functionality, usually after a severe weather event.