The short answer to how often you should hire a gutter cleaning service is as often as is necessary. Unfortunately, this isn’t a very exact or even helpful answer. Here are some guidelines that will hopefully be more useful.
Let’s assume that you have made the decision to hire a professional to clean your gutters. This isn’t a trivial decision. Many people try to work beyond their skill set or comfort-level by trying to tackle a large do-it-yourself project like gutter cleaning and end up with disastrous results. Disastrous results in this situation can range from a damaged gutter system to a fall off of a ladder. As is our usual recommendation, hire a professional if you have the slightest doubt in your ability to safely clean your gutters.
Your gutters should be cleaned at least once per year at a bare minimum. The most effective time of year is toward the end of the fall after a majority of the leaves have fallen off any nearby trees. Adding an early spring gutter inspection to your fall cleaning is even better. Winter storms can blow a surprisingly large amount of debris in your gutter drainage system. Also heavy snows can start to pull your gutters away from your house. An inspection will tell you if you need a spring cleaning or if your gutters need any maintenance.
A spring gutter inspection plus a fall cleaning will take care of most people’s needs. However, if you find that you regularly require two cleanings per year, you should simply make a fall and spring cleaning part of your regular home maintenance schedule and add in an early-to-mid summer inspection. This way you can be certain that your gutters are operating at peak efficiency throughout the year. Who might need two cleanings plus an inspection? If you have a large number of coniferous trees like pine or spruce near your home you could be a candidate for multiple cleanings every year. Pine needles are small enough that they can even thwart many gutter protection systems and end up clogging down spouts.
Finally, if you notice that rain water is pouring over the sides of your gutters, you probably have a backup somewhere in your system that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. The damage a clogged gutter can do to your home is fairly notorious. Also, if it is raining and you don’t see water exiting your down spouts, you could have a clog and your gutters should be inspected.