7 Important Reasons To Clean Your Gutters This Fall
Gutters are essential to your property’s value and structural integrity. Regular gutter cleaning is an important part of your responsibilities as a homeowner. Learn more about the importance of gutter cleaning with these 7 reasons to clean your home’s gutters and downspouts.
What Do Gutters Do?
Gutters are an essential part of your home’s structure. Clean gutters keep your home functional and structurally sound by allowing water to drain away from the roof, walls, and foundation.
Gutters protect the exterior roof and interior ceilings of your home. When it rains or snows, water can pool on the roof, even if sloped. Over time, standing water can lead to leaks.
By draining water from the roof and away from the house, gutters also divert water from puddling on the ground around your home. In this way, gutters defend your home’s foundation from water damage.
Gutters also protect your siding. Without gutters—or when gutters are clogged—rainwater or snowmelt falls off the side of the roof. Eventually, this can seriously damage your home siding, windows and doors.
Gutters protect the landscaping that surrounds your home. Gutters shield against the water flowing directly from the roof causing soil erosion or damaging plants, shrubs and washing away mulch..
Living in a region with seasonal snow or rain, like Salem County, NJ, your home’s gutters get a lot of wear and tear and require maintenance and cleaning to keep water flowing.
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Why Gutter Cleaning is Important in the Fall
Gutters protect your home from various types of damage. Clogged gutters provide none of those protections. In fact, clogged gutters can produce even more problems like leaks and structural damage.
Regular gutter cleaning, during both the spring and fall seasons, protects your home against several problems that if ignored, could lead to more serious damage to your home. Plus, who wants to walk outside and have a waterfall coming down on us.
CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS TO AVOID A ROOF LEAK
When it rains, clean gutters prevent water from pooling on the roof. But if the gutters are clogged, then you’ll find that pools of water start forming. This water can damage soffits and fascia. Water can also get underneath the shingles causing further problems inside your home.
Water that penetrates the surface of the roof continues to wreak havoc on your home’s interior. Include your home’s drywall, framing, insulation, ceilings and even electrical systems.
Winter weather heightens the risk of these types of damage. Each winter, deposits of snow and ice on Salem County roofs. As the snow melts, it can likewise cause leaks.
However, ongoing snowmelt can be even more dangerous. Since your house is heated, the snow on the roof won’t wait for spring or even the next warm spell to melt.
As heat from your home escapes through the roof of your house, snow on the roof begins to melt. As it melts, the meltwater drains toward the edges of your home.
If the gutters are clean, you have no problems. Clean gutters allow snowmelt to drain away from your home before it can refreeze.
But if your gutters are clogged, snowmelt collects along the edge of your roof. On these colder surfaces, snowmelt refreezes. In time, the ice that gathers here becomes a dam and additional snowmelt backs up behind it.
Once again, this backup of water puts your home’s roof, soffits, fascia, and interior walls or ceilings at risk.
CLEAN GUTTERS PROTECT YOUR ATTIC
Clogged gutters lead to leaky roofs. This allows moisture to enter your home. Even small amounts of moisture in the attic of your home can cause mold, mildew and wood rot. This type of damage threatens your home’s structure.
It also can ruin stored items and other valuables you may have placed in the attic. Some homes in Salem County have their heat pumps or HVAC units in the attic. Moisture is not good for air quality.
Moisture also encourages pests, such as termites, which love moist and dark locations like attics and basements.
CLEAN GUTTERS PROTECT YOUR WINDOWS
Clean gutters allow for windows to stay clean and free from condensation. When water enters the interior structures of your home, moisture also permeates the air. As this warm, moisture-laden air meets cold surfaces like windows, it condenses.
Wood window frames and trim can rot or the paint peel off on the interior. Clean gutters are needed for windows, frames, and sills to stay clean, dry and solid.
CLEAN GUTTERS PROTECT YOUR FOUNDATION
Homes suffer water damage every day. Most basements will have water damage at least once over the life of a home.
Water damage happens for various reasons. Including broken pipes, sump pumps, or hot water tanks. However, moisture damage in your basement can also begin with water that pools outside your home.
When water pools around the foundation of your home, it can seep into the foundation itself. Concrete is a porous material. As such, it absorbs moisture. Eventually, this moisture can cause the concrete and mortar joints to break down.
As the concrete block foundation breaks down and cracks begin to form, the foundation of your home can shift. In the cold weather, this moisture can freeze and cause existing cracks to expand.
You may eventually notice cracks in your walls and floors. You may also notice that doors and windows become sticky as your home becomes uneven or that moisture swells them.
Preventing foundation water damage requires home maintenance. Among these projects, the regular maintenance of your gutters is a smart move in defending your house’s foundation.
Clean gutters and good downspouts divert water away from your home’s foundation. This is a great way to keep stormwater, rain, snow and ice from infiltrating your home.
If your gutters are clogged, water never reaches the downspouts or the intended drainage area. It overflows the gutters and puddles around the home’s foundation.
CLEAN GUTTERS PROTECT YOUR SIDING
Clean gutters prevent moisture entry by diverting the water flow from your roof through the gutters and downspout to an appropriate drainage area.
But when gutters are filled with leaves, debris and clogged, water pours over the edges and down the siding of your home.
Siding that has water damage can have water spots or discoloration. It can also create an environment that is hospitable to mold, mildew and pests. Damaged siding can provide another entry point for water to enter your home.
CLEAN GUTTERS PROTECT YOUR LANDSCAPING
When water overflows clogged gutters, it can damage the plants that line the foundation of your home. It can also cause soil and mulch to erode, creating expensive landscape cleanups. If you see a drip line in your landscaping, you need to have your gutters cleaned and checked to make sure they are working properly.
CLEAN GUTTERS AVOID PESTS
Clogged gutters most often involve water damage. However, there are other potential issues as well.
Leaves, sticks, and other debris accumulated within your gutters make ideal homes for pests. These include rodents, birds, and insects. We have seen where mosquitoes were hatching in the warm water of a clogged gutter.
These mosquitoes are more than just pests. The diseases mosquitoes carry are also potential health hazards.
Handyman to Clean Your Gutters
Cleaning your gutters, during the fall protects your home and family from a host of troubles. It also increases your home’s overall value.
Cleaning them isn’t complicated, many homeowners choose to do this type of maintenance themselves. Cleaning gutters remains among the most put off tasks on a homeowner’s to-do list. DIY gutter cleaning can also expose you to dangers of falling and more.
Doctors treat hundreds of thousands people for ladder-related falls each year. At least 300 of these falls are fatal.
Cleaning the gutters yourself involves using a ladder and exposing yourself to these risks.