Angie's List: Time to clean out your gutters

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - 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 today's Angie's List report, why you shouldn't ignore your gutters or downspouts.

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. 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.

"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," said Angie's List Angie Hicks. "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 involves getting up on the roof if it's a walkable roof; walking around and cleaning out the gutters from the roof," said 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."

"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 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.

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