Keep your gutters clean...here's how

By
Real Estate Agent with 301.437.0092

Cleaning Rain Gutters

Clean gutters to protect your siding and landscape plantings, and prevent thousands of dollars of damage to your foundation.

In a downpour, a clogged roof gutter sends a cascade of water down the side of your house, making canyons of your flowerbeds and saturating your foundation. Clean gutters of leaves and debris to help prevent damage to your landscaping and siding, and to head off expensive repairs to your foundation that may cost $10,000 or more. 

How often to clean gutters

Clean gutters at least once a year—twice a year if you have overhanging trees. Also, clean clogged gutters after big storms. Clogs often occur where downspouts join the gutter system—check these areas closely.

How to clean gutters

  • Wear a shirt with long sleeves. Wear rubber gloves.
  • Have a good extendable ladder available. Standoff stabilizers (ladder “horns”) are ideal to keep the ladder from damaging the gutter.
  • Use a small plastic scoop to remove gunk. Buy a gutter scoop from the hardware store ($25) or try a child’s sand shovel.
  • Spare your lawn by dumping the stuff onto a plastic tarp.
  • After you’ve cleared the muck, flush the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose—also a great way to spot any leaks.

Cost of a professional gutter cleaning

If climbing ladders is not your cup of tea, you can hire someone to do the job for you for between $50 and $250, depending on the size and height of your house.

Gutter covers

Interested in an ounce of prevention? You can slow clogging by installing gutter covers in the form of mesh screens, clip-on grates, or porous foam. However, the cost can be more than the gutters themselves and covers need regular maintenance to keep them clear. Expect to pay $6 to $8 per running foot for gutter covers, installed.

Reprinted with the permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (R).

 

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Ambassador
779,617
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

Here in Pine tree country those gutters need to be cleaned at LEAST once a month. Nice article!

Mar 10, 2011 06:18 AM #1
Ambassador
837,946
Charlie Ragonesi
AllMountainRealty.com - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

I am thinking that the price of gutter covers is less than the price of fixing yourself when you fall off the ladder. But to disagree with my NAR brethern screens are pretty worthless. Use either the helmets or guards

Mar 10, 2011 06:20 AM #2
Rainmaker
449,221
Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

Very helpful post Jasmine. Many people don't think about their gutters until it rains heavily and they are blocked.

Mar 10, 2011 06:20 AM #3
Rainer
26,823
Jasmine Jackson
301.437.0092 - Washington, DC
Global Realtor

@ Doug, living in Louisiana, I can only imagine...

@ All Mountain Realty: Yes, it's definately more cost effective to clean than to replace. Thanks for the tip on options.

@ Malcolm: I thought this would be an appropriate time to send this reminder, considering all the rain coming across the country. Thanks.

Mar 10, 2011 06:25 AM #4
Rainer
68,972
Nancy Fraser
Exit Realty Premier - Massapequa Park, NY
Realtor, Massapequa Homes for Sale 516-729-0278

Great post Jasmine, thanks for the tips.

Mar 10, 2011 06:29 AM #5
Rainer
253,709
Anna Dovger
Add Value Home Staging LLC, 281-704-6607 - The Woodlands, TX
Home Staging -The Woodlands, TX

Great suggestions. We had afire ants pile in our gutters ones. Make sure you wear gloves.

Mar 10, 2011 06:35 AM #6
Rainer
26,823
Jasmine Jackson
301.437.0092 - Washington, DC
Global Realtor

@ Nancy: thank you.

@ Anna: I can relate, we had a huge wasp nest hanging off our gutter and it left a dent.

Mar 10, 2011 06:39 AM #7
Rainer
135,313
Michele Myers
Prudential Homesale Services Group - Harrisburg, PA
Harrisburg/Hershey Realtor

Many home owners do not think about this.  Very helpful and informative blog, Jasmine.  I will pass this along to my sellers, buyers  . . .and my husband!  Thanks for sharing.

Mar 10, 2011 07:46 AM #8
Rainer
68,899
Michelle Seidelman
Staged To Sell - Portland, OR

Thanks for the tip, a little hard work can sure save a bundle in the long run.

Mar 11, 2011 06:16 AM #9
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Rainer
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Jasmine Jackson

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