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How to Stop Plants (& Other Junk) From Growing in Your Gutters

May 31, 2023

How to Stop Plants (& Other Junk) From Growing in Your Gutters

How to Stop Plants (& Other Junk) From Growing in Your Gutters

Clearing Autumn Leaves from Gutter with Trowel

Gutters are an important component of the roof system in expelling and diverting water away from your home. Without gutters, serious landscape damage can occur causing interior flooding, wet basements, and other severe structural damages. Despite their importance, gutter cleaning is an often neglected chore.

Why People Forget to Clean Their Gutters

Homeowners bypass cleaning their gutters for a variety of reasons. For one, gutters can sometimes be difficult to get to or reach. Climbing ladders or going on the roof for a mere cleaning job is rather inconvenient, and can even seem daunting. Another reason gutters are often neglected is because of their frequent interaction with rainwater. Some homeowners might not see the need for gutter cleaning especially when their gutters receive regular, free washing from Mother Nature’s premium rainwater.

What most homeowners fail to realize is that rain can often times do more harm than good to your gutters. When it is not raining, your gutters may even become Mother Nature’s very own treasure box. Take a peek into your gutter on any sunny day, and I’ll bet that you will find twigs, leaves, and various natural goodies nesting there. So before you fall for Mother Nature’s free washing, it is best to clean your gutters on a regular basis to avoid clogging, rusting, and other common maintenance issues that may induce thousands of dollars in repair and replacement.

Importance of Proper Maintenance

Depending on the climate of where you live, gutters should be checked and cleaned one to four times each year to ensure they are properly fastened and free of debris. Areas with a lot of trees should be cleaned more frequently. You should keep in mind that the type and pitch of a roof may also affect the frequency of cleaning.

As mentioned earlier, there are many unwanted remnants that can wind up inside gutters; composition roof granules, tile roof dust, acorns, leaves, and pine needles are examples of the common culprits. If left unattended too long the remnants can decompose, creating a fertile growing ground for moss, mold, and even plants. When your gutter becomes a planting ground, it will not be able to properly divert water. Instead, a clogged gutter increases your chance of roof and foundation damage. Worst of all, a clogged gutter can get heavy enough to fall off, taking hundreds of feet of fascia board with it.

Maintenance Options

There are many maintenance options for homeowners who wish to avoid the fate of a clogged or malfunctioned gutter. Homeowners may choose to clean gutters themselves by physically removing the gunk from the gutter and using a hose to clear the downspouts. Another option is to hire a contractor or handyman to do it. To reduce the frequency of gutter cleaning, homeowners can also invest in a gutter guard to filter out debris and improve water drainage.

Regardless which path you opt for, gutter maintenance is non-negotiable. Like a car that requires regular maintenance, your gutter also needs faithful upkeep to maintain its beauty and function. Do you see plants growing from your gutter? What about a tree? It’s time to peek into your gutter and remove some junk.

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