Cleaning the gutters is a universally disliked chore for homeowners. Not only can it be dangerous to climb up on a ladder to reach the gutters, it’s also an intensive task that’s not for the sensitive stomach. But the good news is that there are many gutter cleaning companies that do the job for you, safely, thoroughly, and a lot faster than you would.
What Happens During a Gutter Cleaning?
When you schedule a gutter cleaning, you can expect industrial tools, like a high-powered vacuum with gutter-sized attachments and even a vacuum that’s mounted right to their truck for ultimate power. The professionals will also use high-pressure washers that blast out dirt, sap, and debris to get rid of clogs and make your gutters sparkle. With both machines, professional gutter cleaners can use wet/dry technology where they alternate between washing and gutter vacuuming to really get the job done.
You may also be able to pay a little extra for additional gutter cleaning services, like cleaning the outside of the gutters, repairing any loose seams that threaten to take down your gutters or rain spouts, or even reinstalling any gutters or spouts that have already fallen off. And if you do pay extra to get the outside of your gutters cleaned, you can expect the professionals to scrub with heavy-duty mechanical brushes and use steam washers to get rid of moss, stains, and excess dirt that’s making your gutters look dull.
But what happens to all the debris and dirt that comes out of your gutters? Well, the professionals will bag it all up and even clear the ground of debris and dirt that came out during power washing. Some companies, like the ones with truck-mounted vacuums, may even haul away what they cleaned out so you don’t have to worry about it.
How Often Should Gutters Get Cleaned?
If your home doesn’t have rain guards that prevent leaves, sticks, and other debris from falling into and clogging up your gutters, then you should have your gutters cleaned twice a year.
However, how often you schedule a visit from your favorite gutter cleaning pros depends on the kind of foliage you have in your yard that can get stuck in your gutters. For instance, if you have pine trees, which shed more than many other tree species, you may need a gutter cleaning once every three or four months, or once per season. It also depends on how wooded the area around your house is. That’s because a house that’s surrounded by big, beautiful trees is more susceptible to foliage and debris getting caught in the gutters than a house that’s not.
Another factor that could impact how often you have your gutters cleaned is the amount of rainfall you get or are about to get. That means, if the weather’s about to change to the rainy or snowy season, you should inspect your gutters or have them inspected by a professional gutter cleaning company to see if they need to be cleaned out.
It would also benefit you to at least check your gutters once a month to check for areas of buildup and signs of pests. For example, if you notice you’ve got more mosquitoes than usual and you don’t have any puddles of water near your home, you might want to call the pros for an inspection.
What Time of Year Is Best for Gutter Cleaning?
Many gutter professionals agree that it’s best to get your gutters cleaned in the early spring and in the early fall.
Spring is a great time for gutter cleaning because this season and summer usually bring a lot of rain in many places. A spring-cleaned gutter prepares your home for downpours that could otherwise damage your dirty gutters, roof, and fascia.
In the early fall, your gutter-cleaning pros can clear out the leaves and debris, which should now be dry, that fell during the spring and summer.
How Much Does Gutter Cleaning Cost?
According to Forbes, the average cost of a gutter cleaning is $0.80 per linear foot. But this price can range between $0.40 per linear foot and $2.15 per linear foot. The per-foot price can depend on many factors, including the city or state you live in, whether you live in an urban or rural area, the gutter cleaning competition in the area, how clogged your gutters are, and how large your house is.
Gutter cleaning prices also depend on how many stories your house is. Forbes reports that a one-story house with 200 linear feet of gutters costs between $70 and $100. A two-story home ranges between $95 to $225. A home that’s three or more stories could cost between $170 and $425.
You can also find companies that offer gutter cleaning and gutter guard installation to determine if one option is more cost-effective for you. Instead of paying a cleaning fee every few months, you could invest in a gutter guard. This tool costs, on average, between $0.50 and $10 per linear foot, according to ConstructionCoverage.com. That means a home with 200 linear feet of gutters could cost between $100 for low-grade guard options to $2,000 for high-end guard options.
Is Gutter Cleaning Worth It?
Cleaning your gutters can prevent water damage to the exterior and interior of your home, maintain your roof, reduce issues with freezing, and help keep away critters, like mosquitoes and carpenter ants. But choosing a professional can be the best way to clean your gutters for the following reasons:
It saves you time: By hiring a professional, you can trust them to take care of the gutters while you go about your business. You don’t have to dedicate time during your weekend or after work. Not to mention, you don’t have to go shopping for safety gear and cleaning supplies either.
It’s safer: It can be dangerous to climb up on a ladder to get to your gutters and clear them out yourself, no matter your age or balancing abilities. The professionals are trained to safely navigate the exterior of your home and operate equipment that even allows them to do the job without spending too much time up on a ladder.
It’s more thorough: Professional gutter cleaners are trained and paid to do the job right. They’re able to clean every nook and cranny spotless. It’s possible that your DIY job might not be as thorough.
They’re knowledgeable: A professional gutter cleaner can let you know if they spot any problem areas in your gutters, whether something is loose, broken, or needs to be replaced. They can also consult you on gutter guards and other protections you can invest in to save money in the long run and better protect your home.