Yes, cleaning gutters is necessary. It is gross and definitely burdensome, but this is one of the necessary evils of home ownership. Or is it? If you don’t do anything, leaves, seeds, roof debris, and the kids’ tennis balls will fill your gutter system, eventually resulting in clogged gutters and downspouts. You’ll know this has happened when you see water flowing over the gutters and onto your walkway. Or even worse, when water begins flowing into your basement. At that point, you remember why there are gutters on your house in the first place — to keep the water away from your foundation.
Aside from the general nuisance of cleaning gutters, there are also safety issues involved with that. Unfortunately, the point where you realize that you have clogged gutters is typically when it’s raining and you start seeing water seep into your basement. That usually leads to taking the ladder out of the garage, propping it up against your home, and commencing to scooping out leaves and cleaning. In the rain. With thunder. And lightning. You’re looking for a bucket and your spouse is looking for the insurance policies. If you don’t go up there, your kids will be buying pool toys for the basement.
Clogged gutters also cause problems over the winter too. Leaves cause water to sit in the gutters and when the temperature goes below freezing, you have ice buildup. Eventually, that leads to ice damming. As ice and snow melt off the roof, the water has nowhere to go except over the gutter and onto the sidewalk. The next thing you know, your sidewalk has become an ice rink and unless you and your family are Olympic caliber figure skaters, nothing good can come from that.
Gutters that are full of leaves, seeds and other debris become pretty heavy, especially when wet. This is why you sometimes see gutters that sag or, even worse, begin to pull away from the fascia board. That sets off another set of potentially expensive problems.
Each year, over 35,000 people end up in the emergency room each year from ladder accidents. A person falling from 20 feet or more has a 50 percent chance of death. As we get older, the chances of getting hurt go up. Many more are injured falling off of their roof while cleaning gutters via blowing the leaves out. Remember, a leaf blower is for your sidewalk, not for cleaning gutters. Oh, and don’t forget the critters and bugs that may be making camp in your gutters! You may find yourself pulling out more than just leaves. Accidents involving ladders hurt your body and your wallet. If the kid down the street cleans your gutters, and gets hurt, it hurts his body… but it still hurts your wallet, and potentially your reputation in the neighborhood.
Sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? Either climb a ladder and clean your gutters all of the time… or face some serious hazards.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. Technological advances in gutter protection have made it so that you can put your gutters out of sight and out of mind. A good gutter protection system will keep debris out of your gutters, rendering it unnecessary to clean them out. You may have to spend a bit to get a good system, but you’ll have that smug feeling of satisfaction every time it rains and you know that cleaning gutters is not on your to do list. Not now, not ever.