When it comes to the safety of your home, there's one thing you should always try to avoid: water damage! This is why it's so important to invest in a high-quality gutter system. Your gutters manage the flow of rainwater off the roof and away from your home. If they’re blocked with leaves, debris, or other matter, water won’t drain properly.
However, your gutters aren't the only thing that will suffer damage when clogged. Overflowing water can damage other parts of your home as well.
In this article, we’ll go over five reasons you should clean your gutters and the sort of damage that can occur if you procrastinate on this crucial task.
1. Structural Damage
Gutters are designed to help water travel away from your home. When clogged, excess water can overflow and collect around the foundation of your home. If unaddressed, this can cause cracks that lead to structural damage.
The boards that run directly behind your gutter system are called fascia boards. Not all homes have these, but those that do are at risk of water damage. Over time, clogged gutters may expose fascia boards to excess amounts of water. This constant exposure can cause them to deteriorate and rot.
2. Roofing Damage
Believe it or not, neglected gutters are one of the leading causes of roof damage and leaks. This is particularly true if you have asphalt shingles.
If your gutters aren’t properly maintained, water will pool at the edge of your roof after every heavy storm. If not taken care of, this stress will cause asphalt shingles to curl or buckle. When shingles are compromised, water can seep underneath and damage the roofs’ decking, allowing water into the attic and causing interior damage on your ceilings.
3. Critter Control
Clogged gutters tend to attract little critters and other unwanted guests.As they become clogged with leaves, twigs, or nuts from nearby trees, insects and pests will flock to the area.
Essentially, you’re offering a gourmet meal to uninvited guests.
Both termites and carpenter ants know how to chew, which can quickly damage your wood fascia resulting in a difficult problem to fix once it occurs.
4. Protects Your Gutter System
Excess debris collecting in your gutters can become very heavy. This can be a problem since the soffits and fascia boards that anchor gutters to the home aren’t able to handle the additional weight.
Without the support of the fascia, your gutters will begin to pull away from the house and eventually fail.
5. Saves You Money
While you may think professional gutter cleaning is expensive, it’s actually just the opposite. Clean gutters greatly reduce the possibility of roof damage, which translates to direct savings for you.
How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?
You should clean your gutters at least twice a year: ideally, once in Spring & once in Fall.
Spring is notorious for being a heavy pollen season. Not only does it give you a stuffy nose, but it also gunks up your gutter system!
Likewise, Fall is an ideal cleaning season. Falling leaves tend to end up straight in your gutter system. If not removed, they will decompose and cause a messy clog.
When's the Last Time You Cleaned Your Gutters?
If it’s about time to clean your gutters, you have two options: clean them yourself, or hire a company to professionally clean them.
While cleaning your gutters on your own is an option, it can be risky in certain situations. For example, if your home is larger than one story or you can’t safely climb a ladder, it’s probably best to hire professionals.
So, WHat's Next?
Now that you know why you should clean your gutters, the next question is who should clean your gutters?
Like I said before, you can always try to clean your gutters on your own. However, by hiring a professional, you’ll get a more thorough gutter cleaning.
If you live in the Raleigh area, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’ve seen the effects of not cleaning your gutters and have completed numerous repairs, so we’ll be happy to take care of any damage for you.
If you’re not from Raleigh, check out this article on why it’s important to hire an experienced contractor to help you find the best roofing or gutter-cleaning company in your area.