Are Your Gutters Clean and Working?

gutter cleaning

Are your gutters clean and are they working properly?

There is a high probability you don’t wake up every day and ask yourself this question often. And truth be told, you shouldn’t have to wonder if your gutters are in good standing – homeowners expect the components of their home to work as designed.

Your gutters are no different – they should work by design. However, by design means your gutters are free and clear of leaves, sticks, bird nests and debris.

Gutters that have debris don’t work properly and can actually lead to bigger problems!

Which is why we wanted to help you with the subject of gutter cleaning. Today’s topic, why is gutter cleaning:

  • Important
  • What are the problems with clogged gutters
  • What are alternatives to gutter cleaning

Why is gutter cleaning important?

Like most problems that occur for homeowners, typically there are warning signs that if not addressed, can lead to bigger issues.

For example, a simple stick near your downspout can lead to leaves and other debris damming up the area. A clogged downspout combined with a few heavy rains can lead to gutters pulling away from the fascia of your home.

So keeping your gutters clean is essential, but most homeowners typically just forget!

Typically, a homeowner should expect to budget 1-2% of their home’s purchase price for annual home maintenance. For example, a $300,000 home would cost the average homeowner roughly $3,000-$6,000 annually in home maintenance and renovations.

This maintenance includes keeping your gutters clean and properly functioning. And while there are plenty of options and routes to consider, here are common questions we get asked:

But is gutter cleaning really that serious? Yes

Does maintaining your gutters matter that much? Yes and Yes!

Why you should performance gutter cleaning & maintenance.

Before getting into the most effective ways to maintain and clean your home’s gutter system, understanding the importance of gutters is a must. At first glance gutters really don’t seem that important… but they serve a huge purpose.

In a nutshell, the main purpose of a gutter system is to channel and funnel water off your home’s roof and away from the foundation of your home.

Worst case scenario, without gutters or gutters that are not functioning properly, water runoff during heavy rains could potentially erode the soil around your home. Sitting water around a foundation and erosion can lead to a compromised foundation.

On the lighter side, without a properly maintained and cleaned gutter system, debris accumulate and build-up, causing unnecessary stress on gutter fasteners.

Simply maintaining and cleaning your gutters 1-2x a year can decrease the likelihood of the gutters detaching from the side of your home where they meet the roof.

On the flip side, neglecting your gutters can lead to a variety of problems.

Common problems of improperly maintained gutters:

Recently a team member from Gutter Gurus of Woodbridge, Virginia ran an estimate after a few heavy rains. Here is what the estimator found:

Debris accumulated at the end of a seamless gutter where it met the home’s downspout. With all the recent rain, the water could not funnel down the down spout, therefore water was running off the corner of the home. This caused the downspout to disconnect from the gutter, and partially detach from the home. One large rain had already started to create erosion on the ground surface below.

Any guess to what the cause of the debris build-up was? A bird’s nest.

So even if you don’t live in a heavily wooded area where leaves fall, birds love the perceived “Shelter” gutters provide and will sometimes build their spring nests in the corner of a gutter.

That being said, some of the problems that can occur if gutters are not cleaned/maintained include:

  • Foundational problems
  • Moisture damage to plywood on roof/side of home
  • Basement flooding
  • Shifted soil near patios & walkways
  • Mosquitoes due to stagnant water

While some of the above-mentioned problems might seem self-explanatory, the others might seem shocking…. like the mosquitoes. Believe it or not, clogged gutters can result in stagnant water – a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Additionally, water runoff that is not properly funneled away from the home can cause soil shifts that can impact the foundation, walkway, or patios adjacent to your home.

However, here is how to simply avoid any of the above-mentioned issues:

Clean and maintain your gutters!

In order to reduce the chances of problems with your home’s gutters, consider the following options:

  1. Clean gutters in the spring and have them checked in the fall after leaves are done falling
  2. Or, use our free estimator tool and see about gutter guards!

It is safe to assume that if you live in an area where there are more leaf and pine needle debris, such as well-established areas like Reston, Fairfax, Springfield, Woodbridge, Dumfries, etc,  you will have debris in your gutters.

By cleaning your gutters out in the spring and fall, you will prevent any real build-up from severely impacting your exterior home.

To clean your gutters, you will need gloves, a hose and most likely a ladder. Depending on the layout and height of your home, this can be an extensive project. Remember to always be safe when getting on your roof, and it is best to be to give us a call if you are hesitant about checking your gutters.

Why should you consider gutter guards instead of gutter cleaning:

If cleaning your gutter sounds like a problem or a task you just don’t have the time for, consider installing gutter guards to save time and money in the long run.

Sometimes customers think the price of gutter guards might be a little high. However, if you were to take the average single-family home gutter guard cost – approximately $1100,  and compare that to an annual gutter cleaning – $250, in 4 years your gutter guards pay for themselves.

We have teamed up with Raindrop® to deliver gutter protection and make home maintenance easier. The Raindrop® gutter guard fits on every home, roof-style, and gutter system and is essential in providing a maintenance-free & self-cleaning gutter protection system.

What makes Raindrop® Gutter Guard stand out from the rest is the system’s capacity to handle any amount of water – from a spring mist to a torrential downpour.  Keeping gutters clean and free of leaves using a gutter guard, is an excellent low-maintenance method to protect your home and gutter system.

If you have questions about your home’s gutters, don’t hesitate to fill out the contact form or just reach out to us on our Facebook page!


Looking for a gutter calculator? Use our estimator tool here: