Do Gutters Smell? [And What To Do About It]

Gutters tend to appear clean and nice if you look at them from below. But you'll really never know what lies inside it unless you climb up the roof. Do gutters smell? That question also caught our attention, which is why we have conducted thorough research on the internet to find the answer.

Yes, your gutters could create a filthy smell if you don't clean them as needed. Prolonging cleaning a gutter full of dirt, bird poop, and leaves will produce a foul odor if exposed to moisture. You can easily hire a professional to clean your gutter to solve this issue.

Like any other thing, your gutter also needs regular cleaning to prevent it from obtaining damage and producing problems. If you clean it regularly, it won't produce a smell. Please keep reading to know how to handle your gutters properly.

Roof Gutter Cleaning Tips. Clean Your Gutters. Gutter Cleaning., Do Gutters Smell? [And What To Do About It]

Why Is My Gutter Producing Smell?

As mentioned, your gutter could produce a foul odor if you let the bird poop, dirt, and leaves sit there for too long. It is because once those things get into contact with water or moisture, that will be one leading cause of producing the filthy smell.

In addition, if the gutter cannot properly channel rainwater out and away from the house, expect moisture to be consistently present there and serve as a fertile breeding setting for mold and rot. And the material that mold and rot prefer to invade is the wooden material of your roof structure.

So, can you now imagine the foul odor rotting wood can produce, together with the moist leaves, dirt, and bird poop? These are what a blocked, and dirty gutter can deliver. And there's more! This unwanted smell can also attract insects and pests.

What To Do With A Gutter That Produces Smell?

Straightforwardly, when you are already experiencing the said issue, it would be best to contact a professional immediately. It is something that only an expert can address since it will need an elbow grease cleaning to eliminate the foul smell your gutter produces surely.

Aside from the reason that your gutter needs a thorough cleaning, you probably don't have the correct cleaning equipment and materials to perform the process. Professionals use ladders that are sturdy and high enough to reach roofs.

Additionally, these types of ladders are not something you can easily handle, and you don't want to purchase one since it is expensive.

Furthermore, climbing up to the roof is a bit challenging, and you might not be able to finish it, especially if you have a high roof. So, with everything said, it is indeed best to leave the cleaning process to an expert.

How To Clean Gutters

Although it is highly advisable to leave the cleaning process to professionals, there is still an exception. If you have enough knowledge to do it and have the complete materials and equipment, then you are free to perform the cleaning procedure.

We'll provide you with the process below to see if the things you know are correct and safe.

But before anything else, please prepare the following materials and equipment:

  • A ladder that is high enough to reach your gutters
  • Anything that you can use as a scooper, like a trowel, spatula, garden spade, etc.
  • Gloves
  • Plastic bucket or garbage bag
  • Garden hose

Step 1: Setup The Ladder

When using a ladder to climb up to the level of your gutter, it would be best to choose an extension ladder. It is most useful, especially if your house is a two-story type. On the other hand, using a tall stepladder is sufficient when working on a single-story house.

There are things you should keep in mind when using a ladder, and they are:

  • Never exceed the manufacturer's recommended maximum height for the use of any given ladder.
  • Always position the ladder on a stable, flat base.
  • Never place the ladder on moist ground.
  • If you're working from an extension ladder, secure its top by placing it on the gutter or the side of the house and lean it at a safe angle.

Click here to check out this extension ladder on Amazon.

Step 2: Remove The Leaves And Dirt From The Gutter

Roof Gutter Cleaning Tips. Clean Your Gutters. Gutter Cleaning.

As you climb up, you should also bring the materials to clean the gutter.

Scoop the leaves in the gutter using a trowel, and put them into the bucket. It would be best to do it slowly and per section. In addition, you should be aware of your position by maintaining your body upright.

Check out this garden trowel on Amazon.

Clean only the areas and leaves your hand can reach, and don't bend away from the ladder to prevent accidents.

As you do this step, you might also want to inspect the gutter thoroughly to look for leaks and cracks. Fix the damage as easily as using a waterproof sealant.

Step 3: Remove The Leaves From The Downspouts

Neglected gutter and downspout clogged with rotting oak leaves.

After clearing the gutter from leaves, do the same with the downspouts to allow the rainwater to flow freely. After removing the leaves covering it, have someone switch on the garden hose. Put the hose in the opening of the water spout and allow the water to run through it.

If the downspout is blocked, you can use a plumbing snake to clear it out.

Step 4: Flush The Gutters And Downspouts Clean

Spring Rain Gutters Cleaning Using Pressure Washer. Closeup Photo.

After cleaning, rinse them with ample water to completely remove all the dirt and debris. You can use the garden hose to do this step for a few minutes. You'll know that it is already clean when the water flowing is clear.

You can install gutter guards anytime if you want to prevent the leaves from entering your gutter and downspout to save time and effort from cleaning.

Check out these gutter guards on Amazon.

What Problems Can A Dirty Gutter Create?

Gutters catching leaves, bird poop, dirt, debris, and rainwater is unavoidable. So, regularly cleaning it is a must because if you don't, expect the following to happen:

A Dirty And Blocked Gutter Can Damage Your Property

Most homeowners do not give their gutters enough attention, which is a wrong move because this part can produce unwanted damage to a home if left unattended for a long time.

Blocked gutters can happen because of all the trash accumulated inside them, which will also block the downspouts. If this happens, the rainwater will also stay in the gutter and eventually produce cracks and rot on the roofing material down to the walls.

Your gutter may seem small compared to your house's other components or structures, but the damage it can cause can be considerable. So, cleaning your gutter regularly or whenever you think it is full of leaves and other dirt or debris would be best.

If you don't, or if you'll try to ignore it, expect that it would damage the roofing sooner or later. Lastly, it can also jeopardize the integrity of your house and its foundation.

Attracting Pests And Insects Is Easy With A Dirty Gutter

Do you know that all types of insects and pests love the smell and filth a dirty gutter produces?

A dirty gutter is an ideal place for these stubborn pests and rodents because it is where they can easily seek shelter and get food at the same time. Imagine having different pests and insects living the best of their lives while you suffer from house damage because of your filthy gutter.

Mold And Fungi Will Accumulate And Damage The Roof

As mentioned, a dirty and blocked gutter can damage the roof. However, another thing it can produce is mold and fungi buildup. The longer the rainwater or any moisture stays in the gutter, the more it will produce mold and fungi.

The water containing mold will soon seep through the roofing materials, especially those that include wood. In a worse case, it may also run through the inner ceiling of your house.

Dirty Gutters Can Affect The Health

Another reason you should keep an eye on your gutters is because it can create health risks. The smell and mold and fungi buildup can trigger allergies, especially if you let them sit there for a more extended period.

Additionally, the longer and bigger the mold and fungi accumulation, the riskier your health will be.

Damage Made By Gutters Won't Be Covered By Insurance

Unfortunately, insurance cannot cover any damage a gutter can impose on a home. It is because of the homeowner's negligence that the gutter creates house issues. If you maintain and clean your gutters regularly, no problems on your roofing and walls will surely exist.

A Dirty Gutter Can Create Stains

As the blocked or steady water in the gutter stays longer and seeps through your house's inner ceiling and walls, it will soon create stains. Depending on the amount of dirt and mold buildup, the color of the water that stains your property can be of colors green, dark green, brown, or black.

It will be annoying if your house gets stained too badly and smell awfully because of your negligence to your gutters. In addition, the smell it may produce can also reach your neighbor's vicinity, so as much as possible, take action immediately before disturbing them and reporting you.


Cleaning gutters during the summer time.

Prevent your gutters from accumulating smell by cleaning them twice a year. Additionally, if you are too late to notice the smelly and dirty gutters, it would be best to leave them in the hands of a professional to ensure that they clear them entirely from the smell, leaves, and debris.

Thanks for reading! If you wish to read more, you can check these posts out!

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