Roof rain gutters or simply put, gutters, are your best defense against the damaging forces of rainwater. They prevent it from entering different parts of your home’s structure by directing the water away from the exterior walls, their foundations, and your landscaped areas.
They also protect against the staining and decay of your exterior doors, ceiling damage, and even basement flooding.
Cleaning your gutters means thoroughly removing any debris that may be on them, such as leaves, rocks and birds nests, to name a few. This could be done through manual processes (ie. removing leaves by hand, with a gutter trowel, with your garden hose, etc), or it can be done with the help of machines (like a pressure washer).
Why Is Gutter Cleaning Important?
If not cleaned regularly, completely clogged gutters can create serious consequences to the structure and value of your home.
According to home building experts Add Ventures, failing to clean your gutters could damage your home in the following ways:
The foundation: If a gutter is clogged, the water in it will overflow and accumulate around the foundation. It can eventually cause cracks to form in the foundation, which could cause it to collapse. Even if the foundation doesn’t collapse, it can still cause mold.
The fascia boards: Fascia boards (the long, straight boards that run along the lower edge of the roof) are typically made of wood. Overflowing gutters will cause these boards to rot and deteriorate. Rainwater may also flow down the sides of a home, so if you have wood siding, it could be damaged too.
The landscape: Clogged gutters often cause water to land on flower beds, bushes or small trees surrounding a home. This excess water can wash away mulch, topsoil and sand, and even kill flowers, shrubs and trees. Besides damaging your beautifully landscaped garden, over time it can cause erosion and affect the drainage capacity of your yard.
The basement: As mentioned before, water flowing over the edges of your gutters can accumulate near the foundation. With time, the water can seep into your walls and cause the flooding of your basement.
The gutters themselves: The debris in your gutters can be heavy, especially when it contains shingle grit and pine needles. This can cause your gutters to bend and sag. They may even begin to pull away from your house. Besides the damage to your gutters, this will accelerate the complications in your siding, foundation and other parts of your home.
Attracting animals and pests: Many animals, including birds, possums, mice, squirrels and snakes, use the debris in clogged gutters to make nests. After a while, they might start getting interested in entering your home and could cause even more problems.
As you can see, neglecting gutter maintenance can lead to very serious issues, potentially requiring extremely costly repairs (in the thousands of dollars) to your home and to your landscape. Additionally, frequent and thorough gutter cleaning will make your gutters last longer, which means you won’t need to replace them as often.
So you end upsaving moneywhen you take the extra time to take care of them and maintain them properly.