Cleaning out your eaves (or gutters for our American friends) is one of those jobs that is often forgotten about it until it’s too late. But this chore is necessary to prevent serious damage to your roof, foundation, and your eavestroughs themselves.
Why is it so important to clean your gutters?
The purpose of gutters (this article will use eaves and gutters interchangeably) is to collect rainwater and snow melt then direct it away from your home and more specifically, your foundation. Water is the enemy of your foundation and your home in general. If water gets into your foundation it can cause mold and rotting and if it freezes it can crack, which can leave a place for termites or bugs to get into your house. If the crack grows it can cause structural issues to your home which are extremely expensive to fix.
Clogged or sagging gutters can also allow water to get into your roof, again causing mold and rot. If that water freezes then you’ll likely need to replace your entire roof - again an expensive home renovation that can be completely avoided by cleaning out your eaves regularly.
Water freezing in the gutters and downspouts can also cause ice dams that cause serious icicles and warp and destroy your gutters. These icicles are also a safety hazard. They can cause serious damage to you and your family if one falls.
Your gutters play an imperative role in protecting your home from the elements so it’s important to look after them!
[![Picture from Flickr](/content/images/2016/09/2529849524_0957aa47d3_b.jpg)](https://www.flickr.com/photos/akeg/2529849524)
How often do your eaves need to be cleaned out?
In general, Toronto homeowners should be cleaning out their gutters twice per year. But if your home is surrounded by trees, you might want to do it more often than that - even up to four times per year.
The fall is the most critical clean out time, right after the leaves fall. This is when you’re going to clean out all of the leaves and twigs, since they are the main culprits for major clogs.
But it’s a good idea to do it in the spring or early summer. This is right after the maple trees drop their ‘helicopters’ and pollen, petals, and other plant debris is in the air and getting caught up in your downspouts.
It’s important that whoever is cleaning out your eaves, also flushes out the downspouts. It’s the downspouts that redirect the water away from your home - so it’s very important that they are working properly.
Also, even if you have gutter guards of some kind - you should still get your gutters cleaned out every other year or so. Debris still manages to find its way around the guards, so you’re not completely out of the woods if you get them installed.
Hire someone? Or do it yourself?
Unsurprisingly, we at Jiffy think you should hire someone to clean out your gutters. But not only because we provide eaves cleaning at very affordable prices!
First, falls from ladders are extremely common and dangerous. In the US, there’s more than 164,000 emergency room treated falls each year - over 300 that result in death. Don’t become a statistic.
Second, most people do not own a ladder that will reach up to their second floor. And by the time you rent one, you might as well book a job through Jiffy to get it done for $115*.
Third, finding a reputable person to clean your gutters is a lot of work! Some of the things you need to look for include people with insurance (they are climbing on your house, you need to know their workers are covered), references, online reviews, and guarantees. (Jiffy takes care of all of those things for you so you can just schedule the cleaning and forget about it! You don’t even need to be home when it gets done.)
[![Clean your eaves or risk damage to your roof or foundation](/content/images/2016/10/Eaves-banner-for-blog-post-1.png)](https://jiffyondemand.com/jobs/new?job%5Bservice%5D=13#utm_source=blog&utm_campaign=Eaves%20Cleaning%3A%20One%20of%20the%20Most%20Important%20Home%20To%20Dos&utm_medium=banner)
*Based on a 2,500 sq ft house with up to two floors.