Why Do Gutters Clog?

Clogged rain gutters on a home

Gutters aren’t just for decoration, nor are they optional. Did you know a rainstorm can exert around 1,000 pounds of pressure on a roof, but that rain gutters displace nearly 600 pounds of pressure? Gutters keep rainwater from hitting with its full force. But, they cannot work effectively if twigs, dirt, and leaves clog gutters. Gutters need to be kept clean and maintained three to four times a year.

What are the problems that sprout from a clogged gutter system? A clog doesn’t simply mean water is left standing stagnant in a gutter and attracting mosquitoes and collecting mold. Clogs can cause a host of other problems, including cracks in a home’s foundation.

Clogs Shorten the Life of a Gutter

Allowing twigs, leaves, and dirt to accumulate may cause your gutter to rust out or develop a hole. Without treating these holes as they appear, gutters may need to be replaced within five years. An aluminum gutter (a popular choice for home gutters), when properly cared for can last up to twenty years.

How much do I have to spend on sufficient gutters?

Hiring a professional to replace old gutters that are clogging with new, working gutters can vary widely, from $3 per square foot to more than $7 a square foot. Pricing can depend on the type of gutters installed. Copper can cost more than steel or aluminum. Not only will price vary, but size will vary as well. Five inch gutters are the residential norm, but homeowners should consider getting six inch commercial gutters. An extra inch of gutter may not increase the price too much and it may save homeowners the heartache of a gutter getting clogged and needing repair.

Why You Shouldn’t Treat a Clog Yourself

Is it better to buy a seamless gutter system versus regular roof guttering?

Clogs may be a bigger problem than they look because they cause hidden damage. But they are also dangerous because you may have to use a ladder to reach a clog safely. What if you cannot comfortably clean a clog from a ladder? And even if you can, who wants to be up on a ladder for hours at a time. It might be time to call a professional before a fall from a ladder sends you to the emergency room.

A professional has special equipment to clean a clog, such as special ladder extensions or a bucket lift that allows them to reach a roof gutter. Is it difficult to clean a clog? This may depend on roof pitch and shape. Generally, a standard ladder can reach first or second-story gutters. Single-story ranch homes may be easier for professionals to reach and clean because they are low-pitched. Cape-cod style homes may present the most challenges because their even eaves make the area more difficult to clean. They also tend to have steeper pitched roofs.

How expensive is it to have a pro clean your gutters? The cost of gutter cleaning can vary between $165 and $500, depending on size of the home, grade of roof, how many repairs must be made, and other factors.

A professional can easily repair warped guttering and perform cleaning on clogged guttering on a regular basis. It is best to have a professional check and recommend needed repairs to leaking sections or replacement of old gutters before clogs occur. It is better to be proactive and it may save many homeowners from expensive home repairs in the future.