The Dangers of Dirty Gutters
Why Cleaning Your Rain Gutters Is So Important
Gutter cleaning is an essential feature of any home maintenance checklist. Rain gutters play a crucial role in shielding your home from the effects of heavy rain. In fact, they are so effective and understated that many people overlook them entirely.
But that can be a big mistake.
Throughout the year, environmental debris nestles into your home's gutters, which can impact their performance. It could cause serious and expensive home repair if they're neglected long enough.
Clean out your gutters, not your bank account. If you need the motivation to keep your gutters clean, then look no further. Here are some of the many dangers of dirty gutters.
1. Pest Problems
Leaves, sticks, and other plant matter accumulate in your gutter. These materials provide the perfect refuge and breeding ground for pests.
This outdoor infestation of ants and spiders is only one step away from spreading into your home. You might also have to contend with more worrisome creatures, such as rodents or bees.
You'll have a serious health hazard on your hands when you don't clean rain gutters regularly.
2. Rotting Roof
Not every house comes equipped with rain gutters. But in wet climates, they're a necessity. Gutters direct rainwater away from your home.
If your gutters aren't properly maintained, they'll be unable to do their job. Your home's roof will suffer the brunt of the damage. Rainwater could pool on your roof, unable to filter down into your clogged gutters.
Standing water on your roof will eventually lead to issues such as rotting wood and water leaks. Roof repair for water damage can cost thousands of dollars -- or more. When you don't want to clean the gutters your own, this is one of the reasons why a professional gutter cleaning can save you money in the long run.
3. Foundation Damage
Rain gutters protect more than your roof. The downspout projects water away from the surrounding foundation of your home. But when the outlet is clogged, the water will spill over your gutters and down the walls of your home.
This can lead to water damage to your home's siding. Without a working downspout, rainwater is more likely to settle around the base of your home.
Sitting water could seep into the lower sections of the house, such as the basement. During the colder months, this is even more dangerous as water can freeze and crack the foundation, leading to a very expensive repair job.
4. Broken Gutters
Let's not forget about the gutters themselves. Dirty gutters have to bear the constant weight of plant matter. The weight becomes even heavier when it rains, causing water to pool in the brackets.
Depending on the construction of your gutters, the extra weight could damage the brackets. Even if you clean the gutters later on, now you'll have to repair them so the water drains through the downspout.
Heavy gutters also put your roof at risk. Mixed with water damage, the additional weight can damage the wooden boards behind your gutters.
In serious stages of disrepair, dirty gutters could snap off your home and bring parts of the roof with it.
5. Diminished Curb Appeal
Do you have a garden bed around your home? Irrigation is an important part of any yard.
When water spills over your gutters, it crashes onto the plant life below. And your garden will pay the price. Overwatering can ruin your plants if not outright kill them.
But the damage extends beyond the surrounding foundation of your home. When water isn't directed by the downspout, it will find new areas to run through your yard. This could unroot grass and lead to unsightly brown lines.
Can I Clean My Own Rain Gutters?
Provided you already have the equipment, you can clean gutters on your own. You'll need a ladder, stabilizer, and gloves at the very least. It's also a wise idea to bring a mask, along with a bucket and trowel.
However, cleaning gutters is a dangerous task. Unless you have experience working on ladders, it's best to leave it to a professional. Since gutter cleaning is affordable, many people find that it's worth the cost.
More than 500,00 people suffer from ladder-related injuries in the U.S. alone. If you do choose to clean the gutters yourself, make sure you inform someone beforehand. In case an accident occurs, they'll be able to come and help.
When Should I Clean My Rain Gutters?
Several factors play into how often you should clean your gutters. In general, you should clean your gutters twice a year. With gutter guards installed, you can clean them less often.
Usually, you perform the first cleaning during the middle or end of Spring. A surprising amount of gunk can find its way in your gutter from the season's pollen and heavy rains.
The second cleaning is usually done during the Fall, once all the leaves have fallen. If you fail to remove the dead leaves, home damage could occur once temperatures drop below freezing.
But you may wish to clean the gutters more often. For example, if you have many trees around your home, your gutters will become dirty at a faster rate.
Keep Your Gutters Clean
If you've been neglecting your rain gutters, it's time for a change. Cleaning your gutters is not an optional part of home maintenance. Eventually, dirty gutters lead to water damage and expensive home repairs.
Don't put your health at risk by cleaning your own gutters. Instead, enjoy some peace of mind and rely on our professional gutter cleaning services.