CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – With the dreary, rainy and cold weather, it’s time to start thinking about your gutters. If you don’t maintain them this time of year, it could end up costing you in the long run.

On a gloomy day like the weather in the Tri-State area Friday, the last thing homeowners likely wanted to do was go out and clean the gutters. But when spring rolls around next year, they might be glad they took the time.

Jeff Hamilton is the owner of Gutter Monkeys. He says gutters that aren’t properly maintained could cause damage to your home, leading to problems like rotted wood if water goes into places it shouldn’t due to a clogged gutter. With freezing temperatures on the way he says homeowners could lose the entire gutter.

“Well, it is important to get your gutters cleaned out because when it snows in the winter time, the snow will melt, and it will come down the gutters and freeze. Then, the next day it’ll rip them off,” Hamilton explained. “Also, it decomposes and makes a bed for seeds to grow and Spring time will come, and you’ll have all of that new growth in your gutter.”

It might be best to hire an expert to do the work but if you decide to do it yourself, play it safe. Safety experts say you should use a ladder properly and follow the “rule of three,” maintaining three points of contact all the time with the ladder. You should wear eye protection. Also think about wearing no-slip shoes or boots to decrease your risk of falling off the ladder.