It is tempting to skip the chore of cleaning gutters, especially in the spring and fall. This is a job that nobody likes. Most homeowners would rather do other things than climb up a ladder for eavestrough cleaning. So, why is cleaning gutters important?
The gutters are important parts of the roofing system. They benefit the house in many ways. Failing to clean them will not only leave them vulnerable to damage, but water spills from the clogged gutters will cause myriad problems to your home. This post looks at what happens if gutters are blocked.
If you wonder what kind of damage can clogged gutters cause, the main one is structural damage. When the gutters are clogged, water will not flow easily through them to the downspout. Water will pool in the gutters and eventually spill. It is, however, important to note that the risk is more than just water leaks. Structural damages caused by clogged gutters include the following:
To answer the question of can clogged gutters cause basement flooding, you need to understand how gutters work. The primary role of the gutters is to catch runoff water from the roof, direct it to the downspout, and away from the house. However, when the gutters are dirty and clogged, rainwater will overflow and run down the sides of your home and into the basement. Once flooded, you will deal with damaged flooring, furniture, electronics and other appliances. It is common for appliances to fail in the future due to rust that forms on the internal parts.
Overflowing gutters will easily cause problems in your home’s foundation. This is because when the clay, dirt or sand near the foundation gets too wet, the foundation may shift. This may lead to cracks or even buckling. Stagnant water also has the potential to weaken piers in the home in the crawl space.
Water from overflowing gutters may get under the driveway. This leads to similar structural problems as water under the foundation – holes, cracks and shifting will take place. This eventually destroys your driveway.
When there is a heavy downfall, water overflowing from dirty gutters will run over the landscaping. This will not only wash mulch but also damage your shrubs, flowers and even trees.
The weight of the dirt in the gutters can cause them to pull away from the house. When water is added, the dirt gets heavier. The gutters may easily collapse under this weight. Moreover, when temperatures drop, water trapped in the gutters may freeze. This will make the gutters extra heavy and cause them to get damaged. Water that spills on the sidewalks, driveway and deck may also freeze and create a slip hazard.
Can clogged gutters cause ceiling leaks? Absolutely yes. The weight of stagnant water combined with the weight of debris in the gutters can damage the soffits and fascia. Cracks may form and start permitting water into the house. This will lead to myriad water problems.
Did you know that clogged gutters can also damage the roof? This starts when shingles come into contact with stagnant water in the gutters. These shingles will deteriorate faster than those not in contact with water. When these shingles are saturated, the roof deck will get damaged. If this damage is not detected early, insulation may get wet, and water will start leaking into your home. This will cause damage to both the ceiling and the walls.
It is easier to clean the gutters than to replace them and fix the problems resulting from water spills. The best way to avoid structural damages is to regularly clean the gutters. If you live in an area with a lot of debris, probably from tree leaves, you should consider installing a gutter cover. This simple system will keep your gutters free of debris.
Gutters that are filled with debris create the perfect environment for pests to breed in. Birds, mosquitos, squirrels and mice will find refuge in your dirty gutters. Pests will not just be in your home. Water spills from the dirty gutters will lead to holes and cracks in the walls and foundation. This creates entry points for pests. If these problems are not fixed, you will find yourself needing the services of an exterminator more often than you would like.
Water damage and cracks in your home will lead to the growth of algae and moss. Algae and moss thrive in damp places. They will not only grow in the gutters but also in your flooded basement and foundation. The growth of mould and a high pollen count will make life hard for family members with allergies. The ones with a poor immune system will also be prone to illnesses. It is good to note that algae and moss will cause damage to parts of the roofing system too. It is important that you keep an eye out for mould and get your gutters cleaned properly to avert these problems.
While aesthetics are minor problems when compared to structural damages, if you take pride in the beauty of your home, you must make time to clean clogged gutters as soon as possible. When they are clogged, gutters look untidy and dirty. Water spills also form ugly stains on both the gutters and the walls of your home. If not addressed in time, the effects will make your home look neglected.
The majority of home warranties stipulate that you clean your gutters regularly. Failing to do so means you are not complying with the policy. This means your claim might not be honoured.
After answering the question on why is cleaning gutters important, the next step is to learn how to do the cleaning. There are many methods you can use. The first is using a leaf blower. Wear protective goggles as well as a dust mask before you blast off the debris in your gutters. The second method involves using gutter cleaning kits. Some of these kits will work with your leaf blowers.
If the dirt is dried in, you will have to use a gutter scoop or trowel to remove it. Start cleaning from the drain outlet near the lowest end of your gutter. Dispose of the dirt into a bucket. Clean when the leaves are slightly damp and not when they are soggy.
If you feel you are not the best person to clean your gutters, there is always the option of working with a professional. Professional cleaners will not only get rid of the debris but also inspect your gutters and roofing system for problems.
If your gutters keep getting clogged, you should think about installing gutter guards. These are systems designed to make maintaining the gutter systems easier. The system works by keeping debris from getting into your gutters without impeding the flow of water into the gutters. Choose your gutter guard carefully. These systems are not built the same. D’Angelo & Sons can help with gutter cleaning and with the selection and installation of gutter guards. Get in touch to find out more.