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When to Clean Gutters: What Is the Best Time of Year to Clean Gutters?

clogged gutters
January 23, 2024
Angela Stringfellow
Read Time
4 minutes

Seasonal home maintenance: It tends not to be glamorous, but it’s necessary. At various points throughout the year, depending on where you live, you may need to winterize your outdoor plumbing, rake leaves, power-wash your siding, put up storm windows, and take care of other home maintenance tasks.

Cleaning out your gutters is something most of us don’t think about unless and until there’s a problem or visual evidence that they’re filled with leaves and debris, yet it’s an essential home maintenance task.

But when should you clean gutters: What’s the best time of year to clean out your gutters?

The general recommendation is to clean out your gutters twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall.

But that frequency can vary depending on where you live, your climate, surrounding vegetation and other factors.

Don’t worry…we’ll go into even greater detail about the best time of year to clean your gutters, with expert tips and advice so you can clean out your gutters at the right time to avoid any issues (no matter where you live).

In this article:

The Benefits of Regular Gutter Cleaning

Since curb appeal and interior home upgrades are more likely to be on your mind than cleaning out your gutters, it’s easy to overlook the importance of doing so regularly. There are some benefits to rolling up your sleeves and getting the job done, though—as well as a solution that eliminates the hassle of having to clean out your gutters.

First and most important, cleaning out your gutters helps prevent water damage to your home. Clogs inside your gutters can turn your quiet, unassuming gutters into waterfalls. The water can overflow the gutter and pour right into your roof, siding, and soffit. Gravity can bring it down to the foundation, where it can cause extensive damage that requires costly repairs.

Keeping your gutters cleaned out, however, allows water to flow properly through them, where it will make its way down the downspouts and drain properly out into your yard, away from your home.

Another benefit to cleaning out your gutters regularly is an extended gutter lifespan. Gutters that are regularly cleaned out are less likely to accumulate rust and corrosion, which can cause holes and gaps.

When you avoid damage to your home and your gutters, you’ll also notice cost savings. After all, if you’re not paying to replace the gutters or repair your foundation, you’ll have more funds to use as you please.

How Often and When to Clean Gutters

Depending on where you live, what your climate is like, and how much vegetation you have growing around your home, you might need to clean out your gutters 2 to 4 times per year (or more).

We’re happy to help you figure out your optimal cleaning schedule.

Most people who don’t have a lot of trees close to their houses will be fine cleaning out their gutters twice per year, in the spring and late fall.

The spring cleaning will take care of fallen blossoms, sticky pollen, and any little twigs that managed to find their way into your gutters during winter storms.

The late fall cleaning should be done after the leaves have fallen in your area, and it will focus on removing those dead leaves before winter comes.

Those who have a lot of pine trees in particular, however, will probably need to clean out their gutters every three or four months. This is because pine needles will fall all year long, and they’ll tend to cause clogs inside the gutters and downspouts.

How to Prevent Clogs Inside Your Gutters

Since clogs are a pain to deal with, particularly once they make it to your downspout, the goal is to prevent clogs inside your gutters as much as possible.

If you don’t some sort of gutter protection, you’ll want to inspect your gutters periodically. It may be necessary to use a ladder, which is dangerous, but it’s often the only way to physically look inside your gutters to see how much debris is accumulating. If there’s a good amount, it’s time to clean them out.

Trimming overhead branches will also help, as you won’t have as many leaves, twigs, blossoms, and other tree debris falling into the gutters in the first place. We recommend hiring a professional to do this to avoid unnecessary safety risks.

Also, pay attention to the downspouts. If material is accumulating at the bottom of the downspout, you may have a clog starting to form.

Final Thoughts on The Best Time of Year to Clean Gutters

Letting gutter maintenance slip your mind can lead to costly repairs and a lot of inconvenience, so we urge you to set up notifications on your phone or make a note on your calendar to remind you to clean out your gutters regularly.

Alternatively, you can rely on us to install our proven LeafFilter gutter protection system so you can avoid having to clean out your gutters again with our clog-free guarantee. More than 1.2 million homeowners have trusted our award-winning gutter guards to protect their homes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I clean out my gutters before or after winter?

Most people should clean out their gutters both before and after winter, but it’s most important to do so in the late autumn before the snow begins to fall. Keeping your gutters debris-free can help prevent damage later when the snow is melting off of the roof and weighing your gutters down.

Can I clean out my gutters from the ground?

Yes, if you don’t want to or cannot use a ladder to clean out your gutters, you can use a gutter hose, a wet/dry vac, or a leaf blower. However, this isn’t always the most effective way to get them cleaned out, as the tools and extensions tend to be heavy and cumbersome.

How much does gutter cleaning cost?

Depending on where you live,  the average cost for U.S. homeowners is between $119 and $227 for a single gutter cleaning. There are a range of factors that can impact the cost of gutter cleaning, such as square footage of your house, accessibility and surrounding vegetation.

Are gutter guards a good idea?

Yes. Gutter guards are a great solution to clogged gutters. They also save you the expense of regular gutter cleaning. However, not all gutter guards are created equal. While typical gutter guards can have issues like gaps and traps that tend to accumulate debris, LeafFilter is is comprised of a stainless steel micromesh that only allows water through, not pine needles, branches, leaves, shingle grit, or bird droppings.