It's a fall chore no one likes to do but if you don't clean your gutters regularly, you could be asking for trouble.
"It's a pretty wooded lot so basically we have a lot of leaves, stuff falls off the trees, limbs that fall off. So that over time has damaged the gutters to the point where they actually started to sag," said Jeremy Mitchell.
Mitchell's home and landscape suffered water damage as a result of overflowing gutters.
"We get large branches falling on the house all the time. I think a combination of that and irregular maintenance to the gutters as far as cleaning them out. I mean, cleaning is probably the biggest thing we don't, we almost can't, do enough in this house," said Mitchell.
If you can't or don't want to clean your gutters, call a professional to do the work. They should remove all leaves and other debris from your roof, gutters and downspouts. They should also check the overall condition of your gutters and make any necessary repairs.
"It involves getting up in the roof if it's a walkable roof; walking around and cleaning out the gutters from the roof. On steeper roofs we can't do it from the roof, we have to work off the ladder and go around the house cleaning out the gutters by hand. If debris in the gutters is dry we take a blower, like you would use to blow leaves in the yard, and blow the excess out of the gutter. If it's wet, we just do it by hand as best we can," said Paul Hoolahan, a roofing contractor.
"The cost to clean your gutters can range anywhere from about $75 to around $200 depending on the size of your house and the number of stories you have in your home. In order to replace your gutters, it can be anywhere from $500 to $2,000 for aluminum gutters, so as you can see, it pays off to take care of your gutters through the years," said Angie Hicks of Angie's List.
"It depends on the amount of trees around the house. Some people we have to clean their gutters several times a year, other people are just once in the late fall after all the leavs are down. Some people are spring and fall. Two times a year is almost the average," said Hoolahan.
While leaf guards, covers and screens can help reduce debris collecting in your gutter, you should still check them regularly. Experts say up to 20% of leaves and other material can get through a gutter cover.
Gutter cleaning requires the use of a ladder, which can be dangerous.
When hiring a professional, Angie's List recommends you check that the company is licensed and insured, has worker's compensation for its employees and has a good reputation and work history.