Gutters and downspouts – two of the most commonly neglected components of any house. Nobody would really like to admit it but once these two have been finally installed in the house, chances are most homeowners would only remember to check them out when they start causing all sorts of problems. Or, they would do some regular maintenance during the first few months, then forget all about it later on.
Are you guilty of this, as well? If you are, you’re not alone. So many homeowners do the same thing. And this is also why a lot of them, probably even you, end up having to call professionals to undo the different problems that resulted from ignoring their gutters.
Cleaning your home does not end at using your vacuum all over your carpets, polishing your hardwood floors, dusting off your furniture and decorations, and the like. Properly maintaining and inspecting your home also includes regularly checking out the different parts of your home.
And yes, this also includes cleaning your gutters.
Importance of Cleaning Gutters
Many homeowners know about the importance of gutters in any home, that’s why they had them installed in the first place. However, not a lot of them know the importance of making sure that they are well-maintained. There is a misconception, after all, that gutters don’t need cleaning because the water it collects will do the job.
This misconception is the main reason why homeowners don’t add getting their gutters checked out in their to-do list. Why have them cleaned out by a professional when rainwater is free and it seems to do the job? People only realize that these also need to be regularly checked out, especially by professionals, when they have to pay a lot for the damage that their poorly-maintained gutters caused.
If you’re unaware of the many reasons why gutters need to be regularly maintained, we have made this list to help you understand its importance:
- Prevents leaks – consider yourself lucky if you have yet to experience any kind of water leak, because they can be quite a nightmare to fix. Gutters are also a known culprit of leaking, especially when they are clogged or are incorrectly installed. Contrary to what you might think, gutter leaks are not harmless and do not go away on their own. They can cause all sorts of damage that will likely hurt your budget to get repaired.
- Avoid damaging your roof – roofs are known to be sturdy, but they are not invincible, and roof leaks may occur. Among the worst enemies of roofs is water, as it can cause its various components to rot if left waterlogged for some time. With clogs and other debris, water may not be able to go down and will get stuck on your roof instead, leading to rot.
- Keep pests and other critters away – gutters tend to accumulate a lot of natural debris, such as leaves and twigs, and these debris are perfect nesting grounds for all sorts of animals. And because of the damp environment and standing water, it can attract mosquitoes and other pests.
- Prevent mold from growing – mold growth is a potentially fatal issue in any home, and it is important that homeowners like you take necessary precautions to stop them from growing. They are known to rapidly reproduce in as little as 24 hours and once they do, it will be harder to stop them. Unfortunately, leaks coming from your poorly-maintained gutters can promote their growth.
- Stop your foundation from cracking and weakening – one of the main functions of gutters is to prevent water from flowing at random places of your home. Among the ones that can get affected by it are the foundations of your home. They can absorb the water and will develop cracks and various issues, eventually weakening them over time.
- Avoid wood rot – if you use wood on different parts of your home, especially near your gutters, they will easily develop rot once they get waterlogged. If your gutters are ill-equipped to handle all that rainwater it gets, water will likely reach the wooden sections, causing them to become saturated with water and cause rotting.
- Hinder damage to your gutters and other connected parts – expect your gutters, especially the ones made up of cheaper materials, to get damaged over time. Not doing regular maintenance on your gutters can cause it to sag or get dented, as well as cause damage to the brackets or hangers and fascia it is attached to.
- Preserve your landscape – everybody knows that too much water can damage and even kill your plants. If your gutters are incapable of handling all the rainwater it gets, it can spill over your landscaping. Too much of it will soak the roots of your flowerbeds and plants, eventually killing them off.
Going over our list, you might have noticed that clogging is a major culprit for all potential issues. This is because a clogged gutter is the main issue you will face if you neglect your gutters. Clogging is the one that brings about the complications and fortunately, it is easily preventable. You just need to get your gutters regularly cleaned out.
Factors Affecting the Cost
A factor that discourages most homeowners from getting their gutters cleaned out by professionals is the cost. Not only do they think it is expensive, but they also see it as an unnecessary expense. And if they realize that they need to do it more often than they like, especially if they live in an area that has lots of trees and receives a lot of rainfall, this can discourage them from doing any maintenance work on their gutters.
In reality, a lot of factors will affect how much you may have to pay to get your gutters and downspouts cleaned by a professional. These factors include:
- Size and length of your gutter – the cost of cleaning gutters is directly proportional to the size. That is, the bigger your house and the longer and bigger your gutters, the more expensive it will be to get them cleaned.
- Height of your home – contractors will charge lower if you have a single-story home, because it is much easier to access and safer to do. If you have two floors or more in your home, expect to get charged higher because the risks of cleaning gutters will also increase and the contractor may also need to use special tools to do so.
- Your gutter’s condition – if you get your gutters regularly cleaned, chances are that the contractor will only need to do minor cleaning the next time. This means you won’t have to pay a lot. But if you have never had your gutters cleaned out and you’ve had it installed for the longest time, expect your contractor to do a lot of work on it and you will be billed higher because of it.
- Cleaning downspouts – gutter cleaning also involves work on your downspouts, which is harder to do. Professionals can attest to the fact that downspout cleaning is more complicated to do than gutter cleaning. Even if it costs extra, always opt to include the downspouts in the list of what needs to be cleaned by your contractor. This will make sure that your gutters will work perfectly for a long time.
- Other extra services alongside cleaning – professionals will not just clean your gutters and downspouts; they are also there to check on its overall condition. If the contractor sees that some components also need repair or replacement, or parts such as drip edges or gutter hangs are necessary, it will cost you extra to get them fixed or new parts to be installed but the long-term benefits are worth it.
- Possibility of discounts – one thing that a lot of homeowners don’t realize is that it is possible to lower the cleaning costs via discounts. If you are availing the services of the same contractor for the second time or more, you can try asking for discounts for being their loyal customer. Getting in touch with contractors during off-peak seasons is also a good idea because some contractors lower their rates to attract potential clients. Senior citizen discounts are also possible for some companies.
When it comes to gutter maintenance, always remember that the benefits will always far outweigh the cost. The amount you need to pay to keep your gutters problem-free is just a small fraction of the potential fees you will have to pay for if your home starts suffering from water damage. Regularly having your gutters cleaned will eliminate a lot of potential problems on your home.
It is also important that you scout around to get the best value for this task. Gutter contractors may all offer the same services but if they know there is competition, they will give you the best offers they have. Don’t just go for the lowest price, but get the one that has the best value.
Gutter Cleaning Services Cost
Now that you’re aware of the factors that can affect how much contractors will charge you to get your gutters cleaned, you also need to know how much it can potentially cost you.
DIY cleaning will always let you save on labor costs; it’s free since you will personally do it. However, it can be risky, especially if you do not really know what to do. Gutter cleaning takes some time and can be dangerous, even more so for a non-expert. This is why this task is ideally handled by professionals, even if DIY work may not cost a thing. We also encourage you not to engage in DIY gutter installation, although you probably already have them installed if you made it to this page.
On average, getting gutters cleaned by professionals will cost around $150. If a contractor gives you a quotation ranging from $100 to $200, it is still well within the average range. Gutter cleaning services can also cost as low as $70 for minor cleaning tasks and reach as high as $340 for much more complicated work.
Save on Cleaning Costs by Signing Up for Repeated Cleaning
Earlier, we mentioned how you can possibly save up on cleaning costs by getting the services of the same contractor. These professionals value customer loyalty and one way of showing this is by giving discounts to those who repeatedly use their services.
Companies who offer gutter cleaning services may sometimes offer promotional rates, especially if you will pay for their services in advance. If you ask them to do the work one at a time, you will pay regular rates every single time you get your gutters cleaned out. But if you want to save some money for this service, ask if they offer discounted rates if you plan on hiring them for the next ones.
Think of it as being part of their loyalty program or frequent buyers’ club; if the company is sure that you will get their services for the next cleaning job, there’s a high chance that they will give you better rates. However, they may require you to make an upfront payment as guarantee, or get you to sign a contract. More often than not, the discounts will apply once you agree with the contractor or company to schedule the cleaning of your gutters with them in advance.
Aside from getting to save, planning the schedule with them in advance allows you to no longer think about the next time you should have your gutters serviced. These professionals have a rough idea of when and how often you should have your gutters cleaned out. That’s one less thing for you to worry about. Since you have already set a schedule, all you need to do is wait for them to show up on the dates you agreed upon.
How Often Should You Have Your Gutters Cleaned?
If you ask people how often gutters need cleaning, you’ll likely get different answers. Some may say you need to get them cleaned out weekly, while others believe once or twice a year is already enough. The truth is, there is no exact number that will apply to everyone.
The frequency of checking out the condition of your gutters and getting them cleaned will depend on several factors, with most of them having to do with the weather and the number of trees surrounding your property.
At minimum, experts recommend doing a thorough cleanup on your gutters two times in a year in general. This is best done during the fall because of the abundance of leaves that can get stuck in the gutters, and during spring because water and ice may have settled in your gutters because of the winter season.
The presence of trees near your home, particularly within its 50-foot perimeter, has the biggest influence on how often your gutter needs to be cleaned. If no trees are present, a cleanup of once a year during the fall season is fine. If there are one or two trees, the recommended twice a year cleanup would work. For three or four trees present within the 100-foot perimeter, you should ideally clean your gutters once every spring, summer, and fall. But if more trees are present, you need to get the gutters cleaned out once every season.
The type of trees surrounding your home is also a big factor, as there are some trees that will shed leaves, needles, and other debris like nuts, twigs, and branches more often than others. Nearby trees that shed a lot, such as pine and fir, will require you to clean your gutters more frequently.
If you use a roof that features shingles, asphalt, and silt, you should know that these materials will loosen up over time and follow the flow of water when it rains. These will also end up getting stuck on your gutters and cause clogs. To prevent this, regular cleaning is necessary.
In relation to that, the weather also plays a role on how often gutters need to undergo periodic maintenance. If you live in a generally sunny area, you don’t need to get your gutters cleaned out that often. But if you experience frequent storms and rainfall, you may have to get your gutters checked out every after a storm. The strong winds and heavy rainfall tend to bring debris along with it that can get stuck on your roof and gutters.
How Often Should Gutters Be Replaced?
Regularly-maintained gutters will generally last decades. Even those that are made up of cheaper materials, such as aluminum and vinyl, can work efficiently for up to two decades or so if they are well taken care of. But if you use the more expensive ones, particularly copper, you can even make them last as long as five decades or more because of their durability.
If you noticed, cheaper materials will require you to replace your gutter faster. These materials are known to get damaged and experience different problems much faster. You get what you pay for, indeed. They are also prone to various issues and more often than not, fixing these problems will require you to replace your gutters altogether.
Even if gutters are generally weatherproof, this does not really mean it can withstand all sorts of weather. Constant exposure to harsh weather can damage your gutters, especially if they are made of lighter materials, and storms can even cause them to completely detach. When these happen, it’s likely that you’ll have to replace them.
There really is no fixed time when you will have to get your gutters changed – it will always depend on the overall condition. If you see that your gutters look like a far cry from what they looked like when they were newly-installed and are no longer working efficiently, you may need to look into getting them replaced.
Signs You Should Replace the Gutters
It’s not easy to judge whether the gutters in your home are already in need of replacement or not. Since gutters are repairable, you might wonder if the damage on them can still be fixed or a replacement should be considered. If you have a hunch that your gutters might be in bad shape and are unsure if repairs would still work or not, here’s a handy guide to let you know if it is already time for you to get new gutters installed:
- You keep finding loose screws and nails that seem to come from your gutters – it is common for nails and screws on your gutters to become loose over time. When this happens, all you need to do is get them screwed back into place. But if you noticed that they seem to get unscrewed quite often, there may be issues with your gutters. Replace it before the gutter itself drops down on its own. It can happen.
- Water enters your basement – it is common for basements to get flooded due to leaking water heaters, as well as having a gutter-less home. But if you have gutters installed and there are no leaks on your unit, yet you see puddles of water in your home, especially when it rains, there is a chance that your gutters are no longer serving their purpose.
- Too many visible holes, rusted and corroded areas, or cracks – over time, gutters will get holes, rust, cracks, and corroded parts, particularly if they are not regularly maintained. A handful of them can still be resolved using flashing, sealants, and other materials. But if they are too many, repairs may sometimes no longer work and the only solution is gutter replacement.
- Water gets stuck or pools on your gutter – gutters are supposed to let water flow to the downspouts. But if something blocks their path, water ends up getting stuck and will eventually overflow. The solution may be as simple as having your gutters cleaned but if it keeps happening, you’ll likely have to change your gutters.
- Hangers or fasteners are damaged – your gutters’ fasteners or hangers may also get damaged after some time. Fortunately, these are replaceable. But if you noticed that changing them doesn’t seem to have an effect and you are still encountering issues with your gutters, look into the possibility of getting your gutters replaced.
- Gutters start to separate from each other – sectional gutters have the tendency to break away from their connections, especially if the rivets or adhesives that keep them in place are insufficient. If they happen more often than you’d like or they occur on different sections of your gutter, it may be time to replace them.
- Your gutters seem to detach itself from the roof – to do what they are designed to do, gutters need to be close to your roofline. Gaps between them and the fascia, however, are a common sight. When this happens, there is usually an issue with the fascia and replacement is imminent.
- Paint on the outside of your home starts peeling off – exterior paint is normally weatherproof; they won’t easily get damaged by extreme weathers every now and then. Prolonged water exposure, on the other hand, is a different story. When you see the paint peeling off, this may be a sign that the area is waterlogged and its likely source is your gutter.
- Your landscaping or flowerbeds suffer from erosion – a side effect of gutters in poor condition is that water ends up going over the edges of your gutters. When this happens, the first victim is usually the landscaping surrounding your home. If you keep calling your gardener to fix your eroded garden yet you don’t do something about your gutters, even the best gardener around will not be able to fix the situation.
- The gutters are dented or sagging – it’s not just your floors that can start sagging if there are problems with the floor joists, if you use the cheaper gutter materials, the risk of them getting dents or start sagging are higher. Hammering them back in place may do more harm than good and the best way to fix these issues is to install a new one.
It is inevitable that you will have to get your gutters changed once in your lifetime, or even more. To avoid even more complications in your home, you need to get your gutters replaced when needed. Knowing the signs to watch out for is very helpful in determining when you already need new gutters installed or your current ones would still work with repairs.
Cost to Clean Gutters on a 2-Storey Home
Do you have a 2-storey home? If so, you know that the price of getting your gutters cleaned increases the more floors you have at home. This means it will cost you a bit more to get your gutters cleaned compared to the price of cleaning gutters on a house that only has one floor. So, how much should you expect to shell out for gutter cleaning services on your home?
Different sources report that it costs $250 on average to get professionals to clean the gutters of a 2-storey home that measures 2500 square feet and has a total gutter length of 200 linear feet. You can also expect the range to be between $169 to $212 for this type of cleaning.
Some contractors may also charge you per feet of work on each floor, instead of giving you a fixed cost for your entire home. If this is the case, you can expect the rates to increase by $0.50 to $1 or more per floor. If the contractor charges $1 per foot in a single-storey home, it is normal for them to charge around $2 per foot for a two-storey home, $3 for a three-storey home, and so on.
From these figures, you can already get a general idea of how much it would likely cost you to get your gutters cleaned, but the easiest way to proceed is for you to fill out the form on our page, and we’ll connect you with the most relevant contractors in your area and let them bid on your gutter cleaning project.