Saturday, 19 November 2016

How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

It’s dirty work, but every house has to do it or get it done. Your gutters need to be kept clean and free of dead leaves, birds’ nests, and other debris. It’s just a fact of life when it comes to owning a home.
And it’s especially true in New Zealand, where summer is so dry and fall, winter, and spring are so wet. Why? Because we tend to forget about our gutters in New Zealand until it’s too late.
Dry leaves, tree branches, and other material can accumulate in your gutters during the dry summer and you won’t notice until your gutters start overflowing during the first big rain of the season. Or worse, you won’t notice at all.
Today I’ll answer a few questions many homeowners have about cleaning their gutters, including why it’s necessary, how often it’s necessary, and most importantly how to clean your gutters.

What Can Happen if You Don’t Clean Your Gutters?

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It sounds like a simple question, but the reality is that unclean gutters can lead to many complex and costly problems. Let’s look at a few of them

Leaky Gutters & Mold

If you don’t clean your gutters, the first problem to crop up will be clogged gutters and downspouts leading to standing water collecting in your gutters and overflowing. As dead leaves decompose, the water in your gutters will become filthy and mold will start growing and will contaminate your roof and house siding.
In our wet climate, mold is common and can cause a host of health problems if it gets inside your house. And it’s tricky (and expensive) to thoroughly clean, so it’s best to stop mold before it starts.

Leaking Roofs & Floods house

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Replacing your roof is a major undertaking– even if you put a new roof on top of your existing roof. The best strategy is to get the most out of your current roof by protecting it from the elements.
If you put off cleaning your gutters, your roof can and will leak. Water that doesn’t drain to the ground can accumulate on the roof, soaking through eves and fascia boards and causing significant damage.
The same goes for your basement or lower levels in your house. If your gutter’s downspouts are clogged, don’t drain into a storm water pipe or far enough away from the house (at least 6-10 feet is recommended), or are disconnected from your gutters, water can seep into your houses foundations.
This can cause damage to anything you have stored in the lower level of your house , as well as to your foundation itself. You might also damage your heating units, circuit breakers, and other utilities in the lower parts of your house.

Cracked Foundations

A cracked foundation is a major headache for any homeowner. Repairs can be very costly. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By extending your downspouts away from your home (and making sure water is flowing through them), or connecting them up to the stor water piping system you’ll protect your foundation from cracks. Foundation cracks are caused by water damage and by expanding ice during the coldest part of the winter.

Bugs & Other Critters

Gutters are a magnet for insects, birds, mice and other animals. Warm moist decomposing leaves are a rich source of food for many pests and once they’ve settled into your gutters, their next stop will be inside your house.
If you discover birds or other wildlife, call your local animal control center for advice.

Driveway & Yard Damage

When it comes to your lawn and plants, too much water is just as bad as not enough. If your gutters aren’t draining water properly, water can pool up (even underground) killing delicate plants.
Too much water that isn’t draining properly can cause slick mold to grow on your driveway, or freeze into slippery ice during the winter. Both of these problems can lead to falls and potentially serious injuries, especially to kids and older adults.

How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

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Like many other questions, the answer is, “it depends!” Many experts recommend cleaning your gutters at least twice a year– once in the late spring and once in the late summer/early fall. But there are a few factors that might make you reconsider.
If you have pine trees growing above your house, consider inspecting your gutters every 3 months. The reason for this is because pine trees shed needles year-round (and they have a lot of needles to shed).
If you’re at a higher elevation, ice is your biggest worry. Making sure your gutters are clean throughout the winter is a bit of a headache, but damage to your roof caused by ice is a real pain. Better to catch it before it starts.

If you have any questions about gutter cleaning feel free to call Wash Rite on 0800101216 or visit and we will be happy to give you a free quote or answer any questions you have on gutter cleaning in New Zealand.


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