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Why DO we need to clean gutters anyway?

Is this a question you have asked yourself as a home owner? I have a million other things to worry about way more important then keeping my gutters cleaned. This is true for all of us but it is a fact that if you have a lot of trees around your house it is very important that you keep your gutters cleaned out. Leaves, roof grit, dirt, etc inevitable fall into those gutters and clog them up. When it rains the water cannot drain through the downspout and then it goes wherever it wants. Dangerous water may flow into the structure of your house and cause thousands of dollars of damage. I don't want to sound like a nagging mom but this is a classic scenario where you can spend a little amount of money now to avoid a LOT of money down the road. Obviously I have a good reason to convince home owners to be concerned with cleaning gutters but take it from a neutral, non-biased source:

This is an article taken from the "Angie's List" website:

Gutters are an integral piece of your home’s well being. They serve to control the flow of rainwater to protect your roof, walls, foundation and landscape.

But when neglected, experts say gutters can turn from a necessity to a nightmare. A gutter clogged with leaves, sticks and other debris can cause a leaky roof or water damage to the interior or exterior of your home. Contractors say gunked-up gutters also make nice homes for pests, rodents, mold and honeycombs from bee infestations.

“If you let gutter cleaning go by the wayside, it can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars," says Jeff Lambert, a supervisor with The Gutter Man in Houston.

“Gutters are a potential bomb above your head full of insects and critters, if you let them stay out of sight, out of mind,” Lambert added.

How often should they be cleaned?

It depends largely on where you live and, most importantly, how many trees are in your yard. Bob Vecchio, owner of The House Doctors in Cleveland, recommends having gutters maintained in the spring and fall.

“I recommend people calling me in the fall when all of their leaves are down or almost down, Vecchio says. “In the springtime, maple trees get those little helicopters that go everywhere, including into your gutter.”