Why You Should Clean Your Gutters (and When)

When you think of home maintenance, gutters may not be the first thing that your mind goes to.  However, gutters are an important part of your home and keeping them clean is an important step to keeping your home clean and safe.

In this post, we will answer a few common questions about tackling your gutter clutter.

  1. Why is it important to clean my gutter?
  2. When should I clean my gutter?
  3. Should I clean my gutter myself?

Why should I clean my gutter?

Simply put, because neglecting to clean your gutter will cause a lot of damage. Gutters control the flow of rainwater on your roof and protect your roof, walls, and foundation.

If you do not clean your gutter on a regular basis, it will become full of water, leaves, sticks and other debris.  This can be dangerous for many reasons.

Firstly, all those sticks and leaves are a nice home for animals, insects and other critters. Once they create a home in your gutters, it’s only a matter of time before they are in your home.

As well, a clogged downspout can cause standing water in your gutters.  Over time, this will become a breeding ground for mould, which is a serious health issue.

As well, water that does not drain through your downspout will accumulate on your roof.  It can and will cause a roof leak, causing damage to the inside of your home, including flooding or cracks in your foundation.

This is not a small problem – repairs that are caused by not cleaning out your gutter can cost thousands of dollars.  Typically, your home insurance will not cover the cost of these repairs.


When should I clean my gutter?

The short answer is that it depends.  It depends on the number of trees near your house and where you live.

You will want to take a look at how much debris is potentially falling into your gutters to decide how often to clean them. Ideally, it would be something that you take a look at doing every four months.

If you have pine needles growing above your house, consider every three months.  The reason for this is that pine needles

At a bare minimum, most professionals recommend cleaning them twice per year.  That would be in the late spring and in the fall, preferably when most of the leaves have fallen.

Should I Clean my Gutter Myself?

Again, it depends on your abilities, time and budget.

Cleaning your gutters is a messy and long job.  You will probably get wet and it involves hours going up and down a ladder.

As well, it is certainly not a glamorous job.  You will be scooping out half-rotted leaves and animal waste.

Given the number of injuries each year from improper ladder use, if you do decide to clean your gutter yourself, it’s very important that you do so safely.  Follow basic ladder safety rules, such as making sure it is steady and that you are placing it somewhere sturdy and level.

Do not rest the ladder on the gutters themselves.  The weight can cause them to fall and you may get hurt.

You may not have the ability to do the job, or the time.  In that case, it is definitely better to hire a professional than to overextend yourself.

A professional will generally charge around $150 to clean your gutters. That may change depending on how complex the job is to do.


Regardless of whether you decide to clean your gutters or hire someone, it is incredibly important that you do so regularly and safely.  Keep your home safe by getting rid of your gutter clutter!