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.
In this Angie's List report, why you shouldn't ignore your gutters or downspouts.
"It's a pretty wooded lot so basically we have a lot of leaves, stuff falls off the trees, limbs that fall off," says homeowner Jeremy Mitchell. "So that over time has damaged the gutters to the point where they actually started to sag."
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," says Mitchell. "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."
If you can't or don't want to clean your gutters, call on 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 on the roof if it's a walkable roof; walking around and cleaning out the gutters from the roof," says roofing contractor Paul Hoolahan. "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 can 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."
"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," says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List. "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."
"It depends on the amount of trees around the house," says Hoolahan. "Some people we have to clean their gutters several times a year, other people are just once in the late fall after all the leaves are down. Some people are spring and fall. Two times a year is almost the average."
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 percent 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.