Gutter cleaning: How often depends on trees

Gutter gurus offer advice on how to prevent rainwater from running rampantly off your roof.

Cleveland-area gutter experts

Brad Smith, owner, Brad Smith Roofing Co. Inc. of Westlake, Ohio,

Ralph Continenza, president, Courtesy Construction & Remodeling Inc. of Burton, Ohio

Mark Farley Sr., owner, Ohio Renovations LLC of Twinsburg, Ohio


When should I have my gutters cleaned?

Smith: Clean your gutters in the spring and fall, depending on how many trees surround your house. If they start to overflow, the water could get into your foundation, causing damage.

Continenza: The best time to clean your gutters is in the fall after the leaves come down.

Farley: If you don't have a gutter guard, clean your gutters and downspout twice a year in mid-spring and before the fall.

How do I know whether to repair or replace my gutters?

Smith: Gutter joints are the weakest links in the system. Once they start to leak, you can repair them by resealing, but I would suggest getting new gutters and a leaf guard.

Continenza: If your gutters come loose or water is overflowing, it may be time to repair or replace them. Call a professional.

Farley: You should first have a contractor investigate the gutters. If the joints are leaking at the seams, consider buying new seamless gutters. 

What new gutter options do I have?

Smith: The most common style is a "K-style" aluminum gutter. The standard gauge of new aluminum gutters costs $3.50 a foot.

Continenza: The most popular gutters are standard 5-inch aluminum. If you have a larger roof, you'll want to get a 6-inch gutter system and a longer downspout.

Farley: New gutters will cost $3.50 a foot for a standard 5-inch residential gutter.

How can I extend the life of my gutters?

Smith: The best way to extend the life of your gutters is to clean the gutters and downspout.

Continenza: Hire a handyman or a gutter company to regularly clean and repair your gutters.

Farley: Put an aluminum mesh screen on top of the gutter to keep out debris. New gutters will usually last a lifetime unless they get ice damming or storm damage.

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