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7 Clear Signs Your Gutters Need to Be Cleaned

June 28, 2024 | 3 min. read

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Properly functioning gutters are crucial for maintaining the integrity of your home. They channel rainwater away from your roof, walls, and foundation, preventing water damage and other costly issues. 

However, over time, gutters can become clogged with leaves, twigs, and other debris. Ignoring this buildup can lead to serious problems. 

Rescue My Roof has been in business for a decade, and during those ten years, we’ve done what we do best: educate our clients on the best practices for their roofs, including gutter maintenance.

This article will cover the top seven signs that your gutters need to be cleaned. Ultimately, you’ll know what to look for when your gutters aren’t performing well.

7 Signs You Need to Clean Your Gutters

For your gutters to work properly, they need to be free of debris. If there’s a blockage, they can begin to overflow causing water damage to your home’s foundation.

However, that doesn’t mean you need to clean your gutters every day, week, or even month. You can clean your gutters on an as-needed basis, using the list below to spot the signs that it’s time to break out the ladder and gloves. 

1. Water Overflowing During Rain

Water flowing over gutters.

One of the most obvious signs that your gutters need cleaning is water overflowing from the sides during rainfall. This indicates that the gutters are clogged and unable to handle the flow of water, which can lead to water damage on your roof, siding, and foundation.

2. Sagging Gutters

Sagging gutters pulling away from a garage.

If your gutters appear to be sagging or pulling away from the house, this is a clear sign that they are clogged with heavy debris. The added weight of leaves, twigs, and water can cause the gutters to detach from the fascia, leading to more significant structural problems if not addressed promptly.

3. Plants Growing in Gutters

Seeing plants or grass growing in your gutters is a sure sign they are overdue for a cleaning. The presence of soil, seeds, and moisture creates a perfect environment for plant growth, which can further clog the gutters and impede water flow.

4. Presence of Pests

Gutters filled with debris provide an inviting habitat for pests such as birds, insects, and rodents. If you notice an increase in pests around your roofline or gutters, it’s time to check for blockages and clean them out to prevent infestations.

5. Water Stains or Damage on Siding

Water stains or damage on the siding of your home can indicate that water is overflowing from clogged gutters. This overflow can cause significant damage to the exterior of your home, leading to costly repairs if not addressed.

6. Basement Flooding

Clogged gutters can cause water to pool around your home’s foundation, leading to basement flooding. If you notice water in your basement after it rains, it could be due to blocked gutters that are not properly directing water away from your home.

7. Unexplained Water Dripping

If you hear water dripping inside your walls or see damp spots on your ceiling, it could be a sign that water is backing up in your gutters and leaking into your home. This can lead to mold growth and structural damage if not resolved quickly.

How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

The frequency of gutter cleaning depends on several factors, including the number of trees around your home, the climate, and the age of your gutters. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to clean your gutters at least twice a year, in the spring and fall. However, if you have many trees nearby or experience frequent storms, you may need to clean them more often.

Tips for Maintaining Clean Gutters

  • Regular Inspections: Check your gutters regularly for signs of clogging or damage, especially after heavy storms.
  • Use Gutter Guards: Consider installing gutter guards to reduce the amount of debris that enters your gutters, making maintenance easier.
  • Trim Trees: Keep trees trimmed back to minimize the amount of leaves and branches that fall into your gutters.
  • Hire Professionals: If you’re not comfortable cleaning your gutters yourself, hire a professional gutter cleaning service to ensure the job is done safely and effectively.

Keeping Your Gutters Clean

Ignoring the signs that your gutters need cleaning can lead to serious and costly damage to your home. By staying vigilant and performing regular maintenance, you can ensure that your gutters function properly and protect your home from water damage. 

If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, don’t hesitate to take action and clean your gutters or hire a professional to do it for you. Regular gutter maintenance is a small investment that can save you from significant repair costs in the long run.

Looking for more roof tips? Read “6 Signs Your Gutters Need to Be Replaced” and “Preparing Your Roof for the Winter.”

Or, if you live in southeastern Wisconsin and would like a professional roofer to come out and clean your gutters, Rescue My Roof is ready to serve you! Contact us today to get your free estimate.