Why You Should Still Clean Your Gutters Even If You Have Gutter Guards

If you hate cleaning your gutters (as we can imagine just about everyone does), you may have invested in gutter guards, which can either be placed over or inside your gutters. According to Lawn Starter, these covers keep your troughs from getting clogged by large pieces of debris like leaves, acorns, and sticks, which in turn also protects your home from water damage, mold, mildew, rust, corrosion, and flooding. They also lower the chances of stagnant water where pests typically breed. Those who live in an area with frequent bushfires will be protected from the spread of debris fires, while those in cold climates won't have to worry about damaging ice dams.

However, while gutter guards do provide all of these benefits, they do not make your gutters indestructible, as some believe. Further, while they will reduce the need to clean your gutters, they don't completely eliminate this need. There are a few reasons for this, discussed below.

Gutter guards don't block out everything

According to How Stuff Works, gutter guards don't protect your troughs from everything. While they work to keep out large things like leaves and twigs, small pieces of debris, runoff from the roof, and dirt can still get into your gutters and possibly cause clogging. This is because most guards have small holes, which dirt and debris can enter through. Window Hero adds that leaves and sticks could also build up on the top of your guards, which will diminish their usefulness, not to mention that it would also give the exterior of your home an unkempt look.

This is why it's important to clean your gutters, though you shouldn't have to complete this task as frequently as you would if you didn't have covers. At the minimum, you should check your gutters at least twice a year, in the fall and the spring, but the more you clean them, the better they will perform.

How to clean gutters with guards

While gutter covers are typically worth the investment, they can make it more challenging to clean your gutters, per Window Hero. This is because it will be harder to see if debris is causing a blockage, and you'll most likely have to remove the guards to clean your gutters, which can be inconvenient and difficult.

According to Evergreen Cleans, before you begin clearing out your gutters, you should first lay down a tarp, which will make it easier to dispose of falling leaves and sticks once you're done. Next, make sure you wear protective eyewear and gloves and use a sturdy ladder. Once you've gathered your brush and garden hose, you can climb the ladder, remove the guards, and throw loose leaves down onto the cloth. Next, scrub the gutter with the brush and hose it down. If you'd rather not remove every single one of your covers, DX Gutter Guard recommends only removing one and then using a power washer or a long rod to dislodge anything that's stuck inside. You'll know your gutters are clear once the water from your hose quickly reaches the spout.