Lake Oswego Real Estate How Often Do You Need To Clean Gutters In Lake Oswego?

In literally a blink of an eye, our Summer here in Lake Oswego was over and the rains, heavy rains and thunderstorms at that, have already started.  It is definitely Fall in Lake Oswego!

Like many Lake Oswego real estate agents, I have certain vendors I use for not only my own home maintenance, but also as referrals to my buyers and sellers.

Today, my roof/gutter contractor sent me a reminder to schedule my gutter/roof cleaning. In the past I was always confused as to how often or when to get that maintenance done on my own home.

How Often Do You Need To Clean Gutters In Lake Oswego?


It helps to understand why you have gutters. The gutters collect rain from your roof and prevent the rain from falling off the edge of your roof next to your foundation. 95% of moisture and water intrusion in crawl spaces and basements can be traced to clogged gutters.

The water from the gutters passes through a pre-manufactured hole in your gutter called an outlet. These outlets can be of varied sizes, which directly impacts how much water can flow through the outlet at any one time. The outlet goes into the downspout.

The function of the downspout is to funnel the water that the gutter has collected and released through the outlet to a drain system (or water barrel or location) that carries the water away from your foundation. It may lead to a storm drain system or the downspout may empty on the ground several feet away from your foundation.

The critical part in all this is that the water stays away from your foundation, so that the crawl space or basement stay dry. So you clean your gutters to prevent mold, mildew, dry rot, flooding, and property damage that results from having water under your house. It is a health issue (mold and mildew), a structural issue (dry rot and foundation) and a financial issue (flood restoration, mold remediation and rebuilding). These are all expensive, and all can be prevented by investing in the routine maintenance of cleaning your gutters a couple times a year.


Several things can cause gutters to overflow, even if they look clean. Your downspout may be clogged; your in-ground drain system might be clogged; your roof configuration may cause the water to shoot past the gutters in heavy rains; your outlets might be too small. Sometimes, not often, it just rains so hard that your perfectly functional gutter system can’t handle the volume of water.


It depends.

No Trees:

If you don’t have any trees around your house or within a few hundred feet of your house, you should plan to clean your gutters about every other year, just to make sure that roof gravel or other debris is not building up in your gutters. The roof gravel will eventually clog your drain system.

Deciduous Trees–twice (maybe three times) a year:

If you have deciduous trees around or near your house (that means the leaves fall off in the fall and re-grow in the spring), you should clean your gutters twice a year.

First in the Spring/Summer after all the leaves and blossoms are done blooming. This will get the debris that comes from the growing leaves and blossoms out of your gutters, leaving them clear for when the first Fall rains come, but the leaves haven’t fallen off the trees yet.

If you don’t do the Spring/Summer cleaning, all that debris will be up there, and cause your downspouts to clog and require service before the leaves fall off, leaving you frustrated that you have to get your gutters cleaned twice in quick succession.

Second cleaning should be in the Fall/Winter to get most of the fallen leaves out of the gutters, and you will be good until the Spring/Summer Cleaning. When you do the Spring/Summer Cleaning, you can usually wait for most of the leaves to fall off in the Fall before you clean your gutters. You don’t have to wait for the last leaf to fall in order to get the most value. It’s not the last 10% or 15% of the leaves that usually cause the problem, it’s the first 85%!

If trees surround your house, you may need to clean three times a year: Spring, Fall, and Winter.

Coniferous Trees–three times a year:

If you have coniferous (evergreen) trees around your house, you will likely need to have your gutters cleaned three times a year. If you have Douglas Fir trees around your house, experience teaches that the best times to clean are November, February and May. That will keep the needles and berries sufficiently out of your gutter system to protect your home.

If you have several Douglas Firs, you may want to ask us about the most effective downspout screens to install. The idea is to keep the needles and berries out of your downspouts and drain system. Conifers basically shed needles all year long, with peak needle sheds coming when the weather changes. The needles must be kept away from your drain system so that it can continue to move the water away from your foundation.

Home Maintenance Schedule

If you need a roof maintenance and/or gutter cleaning contractor, I have a great one and would be happy to share his name/number with you.  I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me.  Today I scheduled my roof/gutter cleaning, have you?

Source:  Action Roofing



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