Fall Gutter Cleaning: Before or After the Leaves Fall?

istockphoto 171356261 612x612 1

Fall is the most important time of year to clean your gutters. This is when most of the leaves and other debris fall and clog the gutter system. Customers often ask us “when is the best time to schedule your fall gutter cleaning service maple ridge BC?” or “should I clean my gutters before the leaves fall or after the leaves fall?” The short answer is AFTER that the leaves have fallen, but there is much more to it than that.

In this article we explain all the do’s and don’ts of fall gutter cleaning, when to schedule your fall gutter cleaning and why we suggest you do an annual fall gutter cleaning schedule.

Why is fall the most important time of year for gutter cleaning?

  • Autumn leaves

It’s no secret that trees drop all their leaves in the fall. What many people don’t realize is that these leaves cause a ton of damage to your gutter system and eventually your home if they are not cleaned every year. Larger debris like leaves clog your gutter system and when gutters are clogged, water cannot drain properly. Fall leaves are the worst enemy of gutter systems.

  • Winter is coming

Why is it so important to clean all the leaves in the fall? That’s because winter is right around the corner. And with winter comes freezing temperatures, ice and snow.

The key to cleaning gutters is to wait as long as possible for the last leaf to fall and then clean the gutters before it snows and freezes. If your downspouts become clogged when it snows or freezes, the melting water cannot drain and causes a number of problems. For example, water expands when it freezes, therefore it can stretch and open in the gutters and eventually open them. The other big thing that happens is that the snow and ice will build up and slowly pull the gutters away from the wall.

Signs your gutters need to be cleaned

  • Stop accumulation

The easiest way to tell when it’s time to clean your gutters is to look up and see if there are mounds of leaves in the gutters or along the edge of the roof. If there are piles of leaves in the gutters, it’s time to clean them.

  • Clogged downspouts

We recommend checking your gutters during rain every couple of months, if not sooner. The best way to tell if your gutters are clogged is to check them during rain. Observing your gutters during rain gives you a first-hand look at how your gutters perform. If there are spills or leaks, then something is wrong.

Checking your downspouts during rain is crucial to keeping your gutter system working properly. Most gutter blockages occur in downspouts, and when gutters are clogged, hardly any water will come out of the downspout. If little or no water comes out of any of your downspouts, that downspout is clogged. When you have multiple downspouts, you can compare flows to determine which downspouts are potentially clogged.

  • Water Leak/Overflow

The third most telling sign that your gutters probably need cleaning is when you have water leaking from joints and/or seams, or when water overflows over the top of your gutters.

Anytime you have visible water leaking from the seams, it could be a poor seal, but more often than not it’s due to a clog in the downspout outlet. All that water has to go somewhere, to escape from every crack it can find in your gutter system. Especially near the downspout or on the downspout itself.

Water overflow could also be caused by a variety of problems, but most of the time it is due to blockages in the downspouts or debris piled up on top of the downspout outlet. When there are lots of leaves in the gutter, the water can flow directly over them and without entering the gutter.

You May Also Like

About the Author: Mark Callaway