Gutter Facts: How to Avoid Water Damage

I just had my gutters cleaned. Why do I still see the water running over my gutters?

There are several possibilities…

  • During the heaviest downpours, it may be O.K. to have the gutters overfill briefly. It could just be the result of extreme weather.
  • Your downspouts could be clogged or blocked.
  • Your gutter could be improperly installed, undersized or inadequately graded to remove the water rapidly enough.
  • A Nick Rivers gutter expert can test your drainage speed and make recommendations for gutter cleaning.

Is there a hidden agenda here? I have had gutter contractors come out before that try to “upsell” me with very expensive roofing projects or gutter upgrades.

Absolutely not. Nick Rivers is strictly a gutter cleaning and maintenance firm. In fact, the gutter covers we recommend are quite inexpensive. We think most $3,000 gutter replacement projects are a waste—money better spent on a family vacation. If you really want gutter covers, let us provide you with an excellent solution for less than half their price. Just send us a postcard from Hawaii.

I have gutter covers but my gutters seem to be clogged up. Is that normal?

Unfortunately, this is normal and expected. Despite claims, no gutter protection system that we know of is completely maintenance free. Some of the most expensive systems seem to be the most difficult to fix once a blockage occurs. Even if large leaves are kept out, smaller debris works its way in, eventually clogging your gutters and downspouts.

How can I tell if my gutters need cleaning?

You might notice parts of your gutters that appear to be overflowing when it rains, or your downspouts may not be draining at all. These are often signs of clogged gutters that need cleaning. You may even be able to see visible debris piling up in your gutters, which means you may be overdue for a cleaning. Animals and/or pests in your gutter may also be a sign. Since the weather can change quickly and rapidly, it is important to invest in regular gutter cleaning in Maryland. Working out a schedule for the year is an easy way to make sure your gutters stay clean without having to remember to keep an eye on them. 

My basement flooded. Can poor gutter drainage really be the cause?

It’s a good place to start since gutter drainage problems are the easiest to see and often the cheapest to solve. First inspect your gutter downspouts. Make certain that spouts drain well away from the foundation of your home. Also make sure that your yard is properly graded everywhere but especially around the downspouts so that water drains well away from your foundation.

I see staining on my gutters and fascia. Does this suggest a problem?

Mold, water stains or discoloration of areas around gutters may indicate a need for cleaning or repair. These stains may be nothing or might be the sign of more serious problems—some leading to flooding and home damage. If you have noticed staining on your gutters and fascia in Anne Arundel County or Howard County, contact Nick Rivers Gutters as soon as possible, and our gutter cleaning technicians will help you assess the issue and restore your gutters to optimal condition. 

Am I required to take the day off to be home while you do your gutter work?

No, you are not required to be at home. We ask that you be available by phone in case questions or billing adjustments arise. It is often helpful if you provide day, evening, and mobile phone numbers to our Maryland gutter cleaning technicians.

How often should I have my gutters cleaned?

Generally, gutters should be cleaned twice a year. This depends, of course, on the amount of debris that accumulates. Gutter clogging debris doesn’t just fall in the Fall. Some trees (especially oaks) drop their dead leaves at first bud in early spring and varieties of evergreens shed throughout the year. The range of seasonal seeds, pollen, and assorted detritus vary greatly from year to year.

In Maryland, rain falls sporadically year-round, and seasonal pollutants can quickly build up inside gutters. A particularly snowy East Coast winter may accelerate the amount of time between essential gutter cleanings, as could a windy Autumn that brings an excess of leaves, twigs, and ragweed down onto your roof. If your home is surrounded by lots of trees, you may also want to have your gutters cleaned more frequently and/or invest in gutter guards. If you are unsure, it is best to reach out and speak with a Maryland gutter cleaning service and tell them about your specific situation. At Nick Rivers, we can help you develop a schedule that keeps your gutters clear and eliminates the chance of costly gutter-related damage to your home. Check out our recommended gutter cleaning schedule to learn more.

Can Clogged Gutters Really Damage My House?

Not always, but a clogged gutter can certainly cause damage to your roof, fascia, foundation, and even your basement. A neglected gutter can even lead to water damage, ice buildup, pest infestation, and leaks, which can cause interior damage. Since we receive a lot of rain in Maryland it is important that we get moisture away from your house as much as possible. In the long run, it is much less costly to maintain your gutters than to run the risk of expensive damage. 

We don’t think an occasionally overflowing gutter is worth losing sleep over. This can even be normal during an extreme downpour. But if this is a common occurrence or if you see signs of water damage anywhere in your home, it’s best to consult with an expert in case your Maryland gutters need to be repaired.