The reason why gutter protection is so important is because it’s an unavoidable fact that gutters must be free of debris such as leaves, twigs, dirt, weeds, seeds, needles, or nests from insects, birds or animals. Debris impedes the flow of water to or through downspouts, causing back-ups and overflows over or behind the gutter. Clogs and overflows can cause a range of damage to your home. This includes damage to your foundation, landscaping, sump pump system, soffits, fascia, siding, windows, doors, and roof.
Open gutters require regular cleaning. Most experts recommend at least twice a year, in the spring and the fall. Depending on your location and exposure to debris such as close-dwelling trees, gutter cleaning may need to occur during every season, or multiple times in particular seasons, such as twice during the fall.
The average cost of gutter cleaning can range from $75 to $500, depending on your home. Factors that affect price are overall time to complete the job, whether the home is single or multiple level, the complexity of the gutter system, the amount of cleaning required, the ease of access to gutters and the degree of danger involved.
Cleaning techniques, whether handled professionally or by you, may require accessing gutters from a steep or high roof, the need to use extension ladders, or the need to rig scaffolding. Falls related to ladder use are often among the top 10 reasons for serious or fatal injuries at home.
The National Safety Council ranks falls as the number three cause of accidental death or injury at home. Commenting on the results of a recent study, NSC President and CEO Alan McMillan said, “Accidental death in America is a silent epidemic. With one person dying from an accident every five minutes, unintentional injury is one of the most serious public health issues facing the country.”
In a Newsnet5.com news story, Angie Hicks, from Angie’s list, said: “We’ve heard many stories about people falling off a ladder while pruning trees or cleaning gutters. 164,000 Americans end up in the emergency room every year because of do-it-yourself accidents.”
Other health dangers associated to cleaning gutters include exposure to molds and mildews from decomposing, wet debris. Individuals with allergies, asthma, or overall compromised health, are at increased risk.