Cleaning your gutters is probably not the most pleasant task you encounter, and if you’re a new home owner, maybe you never have done it. However, it is essential for the health and well being of your entire house to regularly clean your gutters (preferably twice a year) or pay someone else to. Gutters are meant to be a passageway for water to exit your roof when it rains, but throughout the year, other things get in your gutters, namely leaves, twigs, bird droppings (and some animals attempt to nest in gutters). When this happens, the water is no longer able to drain properly, so it dams up and causes standing pools of rotting organic material.
Why You Need To Clean Your Gutters
- Fascia and gutter damage
- Leaky roof
- Interior damage
- Cracks in foundation
- Flooding in Basement
- Overflowing garden beds
- Pest Infestation
- Possible water contamination
- Lowered home value
- Mold growth
Fascia is the board mounted below the roof, and it’s what holds your gutters to your house. It can rot. So, if your gutters are overflowing with water because they aren’t draining due to debris, that water will rot your fascia and will eventually cause your gutters to pull away from your roof. Unsightly, not to mention the damage that’s about to happen to the roof.
Without the gutters pulling water away from the roof, the water will lay in pockets of roof and eventually rot places of roof, where it will make its way through the outside and into the interior of your home. This could result in thousands of dollars of damage, and in extreme cases, roof collapse.
We’ve all seen water spots on the interior ceiling of a home and think “uh oh” and it’s for good reason. It’s because there’s a leak somewhere, but the issue may not have originated in the roof at all! It may have been avoided if debris had been cleared out of the gutter, and the gutter hadn’t damaged the fascia, and the fascia hadn’t damaged the roof.
Overflowing water from gutters can go everywhere, including all the way to your home’s foundation, causing cracks. This, my friends, can completely destroy a home if it’s big enough – the health department can declare it uninhabitable.
A flooding basement is a nightmare. Two things cause flooding basements – broken water pipes and gutters that have overflowed. Basement flooding can cause significant damage to your home, lead to other issues like mold, musty odors, and make your home hard to sell.
Overflowing flowerbeds can destroy years of work within an hour of a bad storm. Plants can be unearthed, bulbs washed away, and any surviving plants can succumb to leaf rot, not to mention that all of your expensive pine mulch is now in the neighbor’s driveway.
Termites love water. They literally live for it. In rainy Florida, having a decent water drainage system is crucial. Mosquitoes also love standing water. If your gutters are filled with standing water, your home is sick and you’re likely to become ill as well.
Contaminated water can find its way into your tap. It’s just the law of nature – that’s why we have laws about where people and animals and waste can be buried. You don’t want contaminated water lurking close to fresh water sources.
A clogged and broken gutter is an eyesore, not to mention it’s virtually impossible – and unethical – to hide all of the other problems it brings. If a novice home buyer doesn’t spot the problems, it’s a sure bet that a home inspector or real estate agent will.
One of the most dreaded aspects of poor gutter maintenance is the potential for mold. We now know that mold can cause a plethora of health problems – from asthma to cancer. It’s far easier to clean your gutters than to try to deal with these devastating illnesses that may affect you or a loved one.
Most people never give gutters much thought. The truth is, without them, a home would quickly become unsafe and unlivable. Gutter maintenance and inspection is vital to home health and home value.