Should gutters be cleaned before winter?

People who suffer from asthma or are susceptible to allergies will be especially affected by the increase in harmful mold spores and mold in the air. By cleaning gutters before winter, you can remove and destroy potentially harmful contaminants before they pose a serious health risk. Dirty gutters that are covered with dirt and debris are breeding grounds for pests and insects. And if they can reach your gutters to reproduce, they will most likely find their way inside.

In addition, leaving rotten leaves in gutters during the winter will cause mold, which can rise under the eaves. And, finally, those mold spores can pollute the indoor environment of your home. If you already have a family member who is susceptible to allergies and respiratory diseases, not cleaning gutters can cause potential harm. Residential gutter systems are generally recommended to be cleaned at least once every six months.

One of the best times to do so is just before winter. Failure to clean gutters before winter sets in can put your home at risk of damage due to snow buildup along with dead leaves and debris in your drainage systems. If gutters are clogged with debris, freezing temperatures and precipitation can cause ice buildups, which in turn can cause significant damage to your home. When a gutter system malfunctions, the water doesn't drain as it should, essentially freezing in the gutter to form an ice dam.

The gutters place rainwater where you want it, rather than directly on the lawn or on any garden bed that may cover the perimeter of your home. We also recommend if a tree hangs above or next to your roof with a gutter so that services are performed more frequently. Keeping gutters working properly is a great way to avoid paying large sums of money to repair water damage. In general terms, one of the best times to clean gutters is when the season changes from autumn to winter and the last leaves have fallen.

At the same time, ice dams can form that are so heavy that they cause the gutters to detach from the edge of the roof. If you don't clean the gutters before winter, all the water, leaves and debris found in the feeders will freeze once the temperature drops. Gutters are more than just a practical way to prevent rainwater (or melted snow) from falling on your head as you walk under the eaves; they channel rain away from problem areas in and around your home. Therefore, be sure to check the gutter systems for debris, cracks, or any other damage before the air cools too much.

When water freezes in gutters due to debris that prevents drainage, it forces ice and snow under the roof tiles to melt into your home. Often, people only think about cleaning their gutters after the fall, when leaves and debris are at their highest point, or in the spring, when rains can be more intense. Although most people tend to think about cleaning their gutters in the spring after the cold winter months have passed, it's just as important to consider them in autumn and winter.

Wim van Kuijpers
Wim van Kuijpers

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