Gutters play a crucial role in protecting a home; however, emptying them is often overlooked and might not be very high on the to-do list.
A typical residential gutter system consists of an open trough that collects the water from the roof, directs it into a downspout, and then out to the ground below. In the winter, when leaves, pine needles, and other debris builds up inside, it can cause clogging in the downspouts and overflows in the troughs.
These overflows can deteriorate the fascia and rot out the eaves, causing extensive (and expensive) damage to the home, and that damage isn’t limited to the winter months only.
In the summer, those clogged gutters pose an entirely different problem. Leaves and pine needles become dry fuel and increase fire risk, especially around the 4th of July. One errant Roman candle or misguided bottle rocket could light up more than the night sky; it could light up your roof, and possibly your neighbor’s roof, too!
So, what do you do? As a general rule, gutters should be emptied at least twice a year, once in the fall and once again in the spring. If you live in a heavily wooded area, they may need to be emptied four to six times a year.