The best protection of gutters is still having them cleaned regularly

·2 min read

If you have trees on or near your property, then chances are you need to get your gutters cleaned twice a year.

Once in June, after the spring storms have abated to empty them of twigs and other debris, and again in October after the trees have shed all their leaves. Ideally, the fall cleaning should take place before Thanksgiving long weekend when the temperature starts dropping below zero overnight.

However, if trees aren’t abundant around your property, then gutter cleaning can wait for every two years.

“The biggest thing is that most gutters we clean don’t have leaves in them,” said Jason Wilks, owner of Kirbapeal, “It’s asphalt dust and dirt coming off the roof. What ends up happening is the gutters dam up and will leak heavily on the corners because there is too much pressure.”

There are also a variety of gutter guard options, but these seem to be hit and miss.

“This is what I tell people, in some cases gutter guards are really good and in other cases they aren’t. The gutters need to be cleaned before installation and then every three to four years because of all the dirt that gets in there,” explained Wilks.

Not only that, he says, but gutter cleaning might also be significantly more expensive as they are harder to clean once the guards are in place.

Even with a guard in place, getting up on the roof is still required.

“If you don’t like ladders, don’t bother getting gutter guards because you still have to get up there and clean off the tops of them as leaves and other debris will sit up there and eventually clog them up,” said Wilks.

“If you are going for a gutter guard do not — by any means — do not, go for the ones that have the strainer,” continued Wilks. These are claimed to be some of the best on the market, but internet research suggests they don’t work well in ice and snow, getting iced over and causing runoff to pour straight off the roof and onto the pavement below.

According to Wilks, the best gutter protection is the foam one, that fits right inside the gutter and allows water to strain through. These have issues as well and, for the most part, it seems that getting your gutters cleaned regularly still seems to be the best option.

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SAMANTHA JOHNSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News