Gutter Maintenance: Ways to Prevent Clogged Gutters

Gutter Maintenance: Ways to Prevent Clogged Gutters

Fall is here as is fall traditions. Whether that means indulging yourself in pumpkin spice lattes or carving pumpkins with the family, you should also budget some time for fall cleaning. Gutter maintenance is essential during the fall to minimize the damage caused by clogged gutters.

How do you know its time to clean your gutters?

Gutters should be cleaned 1-2 times per year to maintain optimal performance. Although gutter maintenance is a tedious and time-consuming task, it is important to recognize the signs that show it’s time to clean your gutters.

Fall Leaves

Rainwater is overflowing from your gutters

The main purpose of gutters is to divert rain from your home. If there is water overflowing from your gutters there is most likely a buildup that is preventing the water from draining in the downspout.

Sagging gutters

If you notice that your gutters are sagging and or warped that could be a sign that it is time to clean out your gutters. When gutters get clogged the rainwater cannot drain down the downspout. Therefore, the water is left trapped inside the gutter with nowhere to go. A sagging gutter may be a result of the trapped water as it may collect and become heavy and weigh down the gutter.


Gutters filled with leaves provide cozy nesting opportunities for squirrels/birds and other critters. Additionally, if there is an abundance of mosquitos in your gutters, there is probably standing water in your gutters that need to be drained.

Plant Growth

Moisture, dirt, and leaves are ideal conditions for plant growth. If there is visible plant growth in your gutters that is definitely a sign that your gutter maintenance is long overdue.

water overflowing from gutter

Why do you need to keep your gutters clean

The main reason to keep your gutters clean is to prevent water damage. If the water is overflowing from the gutters it may cause saturation in the ground beneath the gutters. If the pooling water is left unattended for a long period of time it can penetrate through the pores and cracks of the foundation causing potential damage. Additionally, if water builds up in the gutters it can cause damage to the edging of your roofing. That can lead to water leaking into your home and an expensive repair/replacement of your roof. Adding on, overflowing water from clogged gutters can damage the siding and window frames as well. Lastly, water buildup in your gutters may cause damage to your gutters as well. The water may be heavy and can cause the gutters to detach from the home or become warped.

Roof Gutter Design

How to clean your gutters

It is recommended to clean your gutters twice a year. You should clean your gutters in the Spring to prepare for potential rain showers and in the fall to clear any fall debris and prepare for snow that may occur in the winter. The best option for cleaning your gutters is when the leaves and debris are dry as they will be easier to dispose of. Here are the steps you should take when cleaning out your gutters:

  1. Make sure your ladder is sturdy and stable
  2. Spread a tarp underneath your work station or carry a bucket with you for debris
  3. Make sure you wear protective gear such as safety glasses and long sleeves
  4. Climb on the ladder to the downspout and clear any visible debris using your hands and or a garden trowel, or a similar type of scoop
  5. Drop debris on the tarp below or place in the bucket
  6. Repeat the process shifting the ladder alongside the gutters until complete
  7. Use a hose to run water through the gutters and watch to see if the water comes out of the downspout
  8. On the condition that the water runs out of the downspout, the job is complete
  9. If the water does not run down the downspout make sure all visible debris is cleared
  10. Provided that all visible debris is cleared: check to see if the downspout is clogged and either scoop out the debris by hand or unscrew the downspout and clean it out using alternative methods

Ways to prevent clogged gutters

  • Regularly check your gutters after heavy rain, snow, or when leaves are falling
  • Trim surrounding trees/plants that are in close proximity to the gutters
  • Tie-down any loose materials that may be hanging off your house
  • Install gutter guards/caps that will minimize debris from entering your gutters
  • Make sure your gutters are not damaged and are in good condition

Safety Tips

  • Inspect your ladder for signs of damage and or defects
  • Have someone hold the bottom of the ladder to stabilize it when you are climbing up the ladder
  • Make sure the ground underneath the ladder is even and stable
  • Do not overreach…shift the ladder over to reach new sections of gutter
  • Keep both feet planted firmly on the ladder at all times
  • Wear safety glasses and other protective gear
  • Be aware of your surroundings…wind, powerlines, etc.
  • Take your time

Take these steps into consideration when deciding if DIY is your best option.

If you are considering hiring a Pro, take a look down below to see some pros/cons.

Man on roof


Pros and cons of hiring a professional


  • All tools/materials will be taken care of
  • If you have a fear of heights
  • Preparation and cleanup is included
  • Saves time
  • Prevents potential injuries
  • Less room for error


  • More expensive
  • May have to wait to get an appointment

Contact Us Today!

If you end up needing new gutters give us a call at 1-800-CALL-AWS! Contact nationally ranked Advanced Windows Systems today to speak with a siding/gutters expert! We offer a lifetime warranty on all of our gutters!

Call us at 1-800-CALL-AWS to schedule your free home estimate!

By: Luis Chavez


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