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How Often Should You Schedule Gutter Cleaning and Whitening?

June 5, 2020

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When homeowners ask how often they should schedule gutter cleaning and whitening, the answer is often, “It depends!” There is no set schedule for gutter cleaning, exterior house washing, and other such cleaning services that works for every homeowner, but many factors to consider when deciding the right choices for your home and property.

Most homeowners should schedule gutter cleaning and whitening twice per year, typically in the spring and then later summer or early fall. However, your area’s average weather conditions as well as number of trees on your property and other such factors might indicate it’s good to schedule gutter cleaning more or less often throughout the year.

No matter how often your home might need gutter cleaning and brightening, this is not a DIY job! Proper gutter cleaning is more involved than just running a garden hose through the gutters or “scooping out” mud and silt with a trowel.

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To ensure you keep your home in tiptop shape and schedule gutter cleaning as needed, you might note some important factors to consider when it comes to this work. It’s also good to note some tips on choosing roof washing, exterior house washing, and other such services as well, so you know your home is always clean and pristine and in good condition! You can discuss your options with a pressure washing contractor near you and know you’ll be happy with their work for as long as possible.

Why a Home Needs Regular Gutter Cleaning

If you’ve been putting off needed gutter cleaning and brightening, you might not realize the importance of gutters and downspouts for your home’s overall condition! Check out some reasons why a home’s gutters should also be clean and clog-free, and then some tips on choosing the best gutter cleaning schedule for your property.

  • Gutters capture rainwater as well as melting snow and ice, and direct that moisture to nearby downspouts.
  • Downspouts continue to direct water away from the home, toward the street or a nearby drain, trough, or pit.
  • Clogged gutters collect water rather than directing it away from the home. Roof eaves and shingles edges often absorb standing water in gutters, which then increases the risk of damaged shingles and roof decking as well as mold growth, algae, moss, and mildew.
  • Standing water in gutters also attracts insects and other pests looking for a water source! Squirrels and other pests might damage roofing shingles and tiles while insects are typically bothersome to anyone sitting under those gutters, trying to enjoy the outdoors!
  • Clogged gutters and downspouts also allow rainwater to wash over their sides and then down exterior walls, leaving unsightly stains and streaks along walls and windows. Brick also absorbs that water, softening and cracking. Holes in metal siding also allow that water to seep into the home’s interior, risking damage to framing and other materials as well as mold growth.
  • Water washing over gutters and downspouts then pools around a home’s foundation. Concrete foundations absorb that water, suffering cracks, chips, and other damage. Water seeping through the foundation also leads to basement wall damage and excess dampness, even standing water inside the home!
  • Excess water pooling around a home’s base might also mean too much hydration for landscaping features! Your beautiful flowers and shrubs might droop and wilt or you might notice wilted grass near your home’s foundation when gutters are dirty and clogged.
  • Tiger stripes, or those unsightly dirty streaks along gutter undersides, are not necessarily damaging to a home but they do detract from its appearance! Your entire house and outdoor space might look rundown, shabby, and neglected without regular gutter brightening or whitening, to remove those dirty streaks.

How Often Should You Schedule Gutter Cleaning and Whitening?

To avoid these costly, messy risks to your home, consider gutter cleaning at least once every year. You might adjust this schedule based on a few important factors:

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  • Tree branches hanging over a roof might drop sap, moss, leaves, seeds, acorns, twigs, and other debris onto your home. That debris then winds up in the gutters! The more mature trees you have on your property and especially if they stand over the home itself, the more often you’ll need professional gutter cleaning.
  • Branches also provide a great place for birds to roost and build nests, which often results in bird droppings and twigs ending up in a home’s gutters! Roofs with lots of dormers and other obstructions offer hiding places for birds, so consider additional gutter cleaning if your home’s roof has more than the average number of peaks and valleys.
  • Storms and snowfall often bring leaves, twigs, and other debris with them! If your area is prone to heavy rainstorms or lots of snow during winter months, your home might need gutter cleaning in springtime and again in the fall, to ensure they’re clean throughout the year.
  • Soot, sand, and other airborne residues settle into a home’s gutters and cause clogs just as easily as mud and grime! Homes near busy roadways or airports or those in coastal areas might need gutter cleaning often throughout the year.
  • Production facilities and construction zones often kick up lots of dirt and dust which then becomes airborne and settles onto nearby roofs and in gutters. If you notice lots of dust inside your home, note that you might need more consistent gutter cleaning as well as interior dusting!
  • Outdoor barbecues and grills often leave unsightly soot and smoke stains along the undersides of gutters. If you notice the gutters over your home’s deck or patio are often covered in debris, consider gutter brightening as often as needed to keep them clean and presentable.

Can You DIY Gutter Cleaning?

No doubt the majority of homeowners try to manage gutter cleaning themselves, dragging out a ladder and garden hose or trowel once a year and trying their best to clean out all that dried “gunk.” While DIY gutter cleaning might offer some benefits, note that this work is best left to a pressure washing company near you!

One reason to avoid DIY gutter cleaning is that being on a ladder is dangerous under any circumstances but especially when you’re trying to manage a cumbersome and wet garden hose or are reaching up and around gutters to clean them. Falling off  a ladder, even a few feet, is dangerous and risks serious injury.

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It’s also vital for homeowners to understand how easy it is to damage or even disconnect gutters and downspouts! Thick dirt and grime is also quite heavy; trying to scoop out that “gunk” can mean pulling on gutters and their connectors, bending them out of position. High-pressure wands used incorrectly also tends to bend gutters and downspouts, risking chips, cracks, and other damage.

Gutter cleaning is also messier than many homeowners realize! Using a garden hose often means lots of dirty splatter along exterior walls and window glass. You might then be left with an even bigger mess, which can be avoided by relying on a pressure washing contractor for professional gutter cleaning and brightening.

How to Keep Gutters Clean Between Professional Washing

While it’s recommended that homeowners schedule regular gutter cleaning and brightening no matter the condition of their home and property, you might note some suggestions for keeping gutters clean between visits from a professional! One useful suggestion is trimming back tree branches so they don’t hang over a home’s roof. The fewer branches that hang over a roof, the less debris that winds up in those gutters.

Leaf guards also help keep out solid debris. These guards are affordable and easy to trim and install yourself. Regular roof washing also removes debris from a home’s roof so that less of it winds up in gutters and you have less risk of clogs and standing water.

Other Pressure Washing Services to Consider

Along with regular gutter cleaning and whitening, you might consider the benefits of other residential power washing services. Exterior house washing removes layers of damaging dirt and debris while ensuring your house looks clean and pristine! Professional window washing also protects exterior glass from damage caused by sand, silt, and other gritty debris.

You might not think your property needs concrete pressure washing but homeowners are often surprised at a driveway’s appearance and how clean and new patio pavers look after power washing. Wood deck and fence cleaning also removes damaging, unhealthy mold, moss, mildew, and other debris, and restores the look of wood instantly.

Related Questions

How much does gutter cleaning cost?

Most homeowners pay between $75 and $200 for gutter cleaning, depending on the home’s overall size and levels of filth needing cleaning. Many power washing contractors charge additional fees for gutter brightening, usually another $75 to $100.

How long does gutter cleaning and whitening take?

Average times for gutter cleaning and whitening depend on the home’s size and levels of filth, but most power washing contractors take between 30 minutes and up to 3 hours to clean gutters completely. If you’re concerned about time needed for gutter cleaning and whitening for your home, ask your contractor to note expected completion times on their estimate!


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