When you do regular gutter maintenance, you’ll prevent damage to the roof, foundation and interior of your home that could end up costing you a lot of money. Maintaining your home may be a bit of work and cost a few dollars in the short term, but it will save you money in the long run.
What Does a Gutter Do?
Gutters aren’t just a “finishing touch” on your home’s roofline. They’re there to control the flow of rainwater so your home’s landscaping, roof and foundation don’t get damaged.
If the gutter is full of leaves, twigs, and other debris, a dam could be created, preventing water from making its way to the downspout. When this happens, the water has nowhere to go and will overflow onto your home’s foundation. If enough water is there, it could seep into your basement. If that happens enough times, it will start to damage the foundation.
Don’t Skip the Gutter!
If you notice rainwater overflowing over your gutter’s edge and not flowing out of your downspout. It’s a sure sign that your gutters need to be cleaned. And if you can’t remember the last time you cleaned them, you should inspect them as well. Here is what can happen if you don’t clean your gutters regularly.
Damage to Brackets and Roof Leaks
When your gutters are full of debris, rain is prevented from being channeled to the downspout. When this happens, the weight of the water in the gutters can cause the gutter to pull on the brackets holding it to the roof. This results in broken brackets and possibly damage to the roof with loose shingles.
And if you live in a climate with snow and ice, it’s even more important to clean your gutters. Debris will prevent melted snow and ice from draining off properly and will keep the ice and snow against the house. Ice- and snowmelt can drain into the house, resulting in leaks and moisture in the attic and walls.
Rotting Wood and Pests
When gutters are clogged and water overflows on the building, moisture can damage the wood fascia and soffit by rotting the wood. This weak wood can be an easy way for rodents to enter the home’s attic. In addition, wood-eating insects, such as termites and carpenter ants, mosquitoes, spiders and other insects are also attracted to the debris that collects there. They’ll find their way inside your home when cold weather strikes.
Foundation damage and Basement Leaks
When water overflows and pools along the foundation of your home, it can soften the soil around and under it. If you live in a colder climate and the water freezes, this can cause heaving and cracks.
Water that sits at your home’s foundation can find its way into your basement, especially if the foundation is made of porous material such as limestone. When this happens, mold and mildew appears. This not only looks unsightly but can be unhealthy for those living in the home.
Your yard and garden can also be damaged by debris-filled gutters. The water that overflows onto your garden beds can erode the soil, killing plants with too much water and etch a ditch in the yard under the gutter.
How often should they be cleaned?
Most professionals recommend cleaning your gutters twice a year. If you live in a region that sees snow and ice several months a year, you’ll want to take a look at your gutters when spring arrives. Ice can damage gutter channels and wind-blown debris can clog downspouts.
Once the last leaves have fallen from the trees, it’s a good idea to take another look at your gutters. Clean out any leaves, seedlings and twigs that have built up over the summer from storms and wind. Clearing this debris will prevent them from freezing when sleet or snow arrives and creating blockages in your draining system when spring thaws arrive.
How do I clean my gutters?
What equipment do I need?
- extension ladder
- bucket or tarp
- garden hose with spray nozzle
- dust mask, goggles and gloves
When you’re ready to start cleaning your gutters, let someone know you’ll be up on a ladder in case of a fall. If there’s no one around, get a standoff stabilizer that attaches your ladder to your home so it won’t fall over while you’re working.
Paying careful attention to the outside of your house will help keep the inside clean and dry. If you have questions about your foundation, contact us at Waterproof Solutions St. Louis. We are happy to take your call.