What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Gutters
Your gutters provide drainage for your home, and help to move the water off of the roof to prevent damage to your home or business. All buildings have a gutter system installed, however it’s your responsibility to take care of them.
As a business or home owner, we recommend a thorough gutter cleaning 1-2 times per year. Clean gutters will help ward off water damage, foundation damage, and insect infestation. If you don’t keep up with routine maintenance, you can wind up with clogged gutters and big consequences.
Organic material such as leaves can quickly take over your gutter and result in overflowing or pooling of water. When properly maintained, your gutter system has huge benefits to your structure. As a property owner, you should bank on getting your gutters cleaned frequently. If you don’t remember the last time you had a proper cleaning, then it’s been too long!
It’s important that you understand the inherent risks that come with not cleaning your gutters. Not only can this result in expensive repairs and unwanted guests, but it can also damage the curb appeal of your home and even pose a risk to your health. Gutter maintenance must be taken seriously, so you and your family can reap the benefits of a well-maintained home.
We’ll discuss some of the main issues that can happen if you ignore home maintenance and gutter cleaning include.
1. Insect Infestation
Gutters can become clogged with debris and organic material that insects feed off of. Once this starts, you can become infested with termites, carpenter ants, roaches, and other harmful critters. Once a few insects call your dirty gutters home, it can be a breeding ground for other vermin.
If an insect infection sets in, it can be a hassle to find a safe exterminator that can completely eradicate the issue. You may find that you need multiple exterminations to successfully clear out the infestation. It’s easier to avoid this problem at together. Some insects can cause further structural damage, as well as become a nuisance (especially if they start getting into the home).
For example, termites and carpenter ants can eat through the wood fascia around your home. This will result in the need to completely replace components of the building. Not only do creepy crawlers seem gross, but they can result in severe structural damage. As a home owner, you want to control who you invite into your home – and we doubt you want six-legged critters joining you in your kitchen or crawl space.
2. Structural Damage
If you aren’t cleaning gutters and downspouts, you may suffer from water leaks and foundation damage. Your roofing, shingles, soffit, and fascia boards can soften and become water damaged. These issues can spread to the foundation of your home and your basement walls, crawl space, and attic can suffer.
If you’re noticing structural damage to your home but you’ve recently cleaned your gutters, you may want larger downspouts to more effectively drain the water throughout your roofing.
In severe cases, structural damage can include foundation cracks, wood rot, black mold, and roof leaks. This can be irreversible and often result in pricey repairs or wood fascia and other components.
Black mold can pose a major health risk. Leaving longterm health consequences, the mold can cause a respiratory response. In serious cases, black mold can result in the need to abandon a building completely.
3. Damage to Landscaping
Clogged gutters can lead to sagging and water overflows. As water begins to seep, it may result in damage to your landscaping or topsoil. To avoid this, it’s important to have gutter guards and routine maintenance. An overwatering of flowers, bushes, and trees can cause damage to your foliage and the erosion of wood chips and other ground coverings.
Landscaping helps improve the curb appeal of your home, and it can be expensive to design. It’s best to avoid damage completely by cleaning gutters.
4. New Gutters
If you don’t stay up-to-date with gutter maintenance, you may have to completely replace your gutter system. This is an expensive fix – especially when you could have avoided it with routine maintenance. Clogged gutters and routine maintenance are easier on the pocket book than an entirely new system.
With any building, maintaining it is better than repairing it. We recommend staying diligent about home maintenance to avoid the hassle of repairs down the road.
There are several ways to know if your gutters need cleaning. For example, you might notice water overflowing or moss growing due to excess moisture. You may also see water staining along the side of your home adjacent to your gutter system. In extreme cases, you may find damage in your attack or along the ceiling of your home due to water leaks.
Don’t fall victim to poor gutter maintenance. Instead, treat your building like it deserves and get a qualified gutter cleaner out to your home to provide a routine cleaning. Though this may seem like an unnecessary bill, it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
You can clean your gutters yourself, but we recommend having a professional gutter cleaner come to your home and do a thorough clean of the entire system.