Why You Should Clean Your Gutters Before Wnter

Why You Should Clean Your Gutters Before Winter

December 7, 2016

Winter is almost here! While many of us are getting prepared for the cooler weather and the snow that is sure to ensue - we may be forgetting a very important thing; the gutters. While this particular type of yard work tends to be put on the back-burner when it comes to preparing for the winter season, it should become a priority. Let's take a look at why you should clean your gutters before winter hits!

Home Damage 

For most homeowners, the gutters on our houses can fall into the category 'out of sight, out of mind.' However, when the gutters go uncleaned, an accumulation of debris occurs which then leads to a backup and, ultimately, significant damage to your home. When the backup develops, and the stagnant water follows, unwanted animals and insects begin to make their way first to the gutters and then gradually into the home.

"Not only is standing water an issue with clogged gutters, the main thing I notice for homeowners is that the water gradually overflows and damages the wood attached to the gutters. When the wood becomes wet, it is highly attractive to numerous pests including termites & carpenter ants."

- Brad Smith, Preferred Pest Owner

Pests, Pests, and More Pests 

Once water damage has transpired from the gutter build up, pests begin to sneak their way into our homes. And the worst part? They don't stop there - eventually, they will begin to scope out the perfect nesting spots which tend to take place in the attic or any crawlspace they can find. As they continue to live in the home and go unnoticed, they can begin to cause serious health implications for the individuals living in the home. Pests to be wary of are:

  • Birds 
  • Squirrels 
  • Raccoons
  • Termites
  • Carpenter ants


A living organism that many homeowners tend to overlook in debris filled gutters are plants. Many think the only thing that can occupy gutters are animals. However, this is far from the truth. When the gutters go unkempt, the nutrient-rich debris becomes a perfect breeding ground for plants, weeds, and flowers to take root. This can become a huge hassle for homeowners once spring hits.

How to Keep Your Gutters Debris and Pest Free 

When it comes to cleaning out your home's gutters, it is important to go through the typical motions of clearing out all of the debris, getting rid of any animal nests, plants, etc. Along with those things, you can also take proactive actions to eliminate the possibility of leaves or animals getting there in the first place. You can begin by trimming back your tree branches (a good three feet will do) which will reduce the possibility of leaves and animals getting into the gutters. Additionally, make sure you flush the debris from the downspouts to ensure that are no leaks in your gutters and to prevent the debris from building up. And last but certainly not least, install screens or gutter covers to prevent leaves and debris from accumulating.

Leading Des Moines Pest Control 

Have you taken care of your gutters this season? Don't wait until it's too late and you have an infestation on your hands. For further questions regarding an infestation caused by gutter issues or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (515) 276-7277 or schedule an appointment with us online.

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