When is the last time you cleaned your gutters? If you don’t know the answer to that question, then chances are it’s been too long.
To be fair, there are several visual ways to know whether your gutters need a routine clean. However, don’t make the mistake of putting this routine maintenance on the back burner. Homeowners that don’t appreciate the needs of their drainage system often are the first ones to suffer with hefty bills in response.
Gutter cleaning is an important component of your home maintenance. Gutters act as a drainage system that transport water away from your roof and the structure of your home. Clogged gutters can result in water damage, mildew, and expensive damage. Organic material can build-up in your gutters. This can attract critters.
There are some tell-tale signs that you need to do gutter maintenance. You can DIY with a pressure washer and extension ladder. But, we recommend hiring professional gutter cleaners to complete the job properly. If you’re interested in doing the job, it’s important to note that it is time consuming and difficult to do. Professional gutter cleaners have the proper tools to clean, and treat the gutters.
A common mistake at-home gutter cleaners do is use a garden hose to loosen clogs. This does not have enough pressure for the packed-down debris within the system. We recommend using a strong pressure washer to clean gutters. If there is moss growing, you’ll want to use chemicals to kill the moss from spreading further.
We have created a list of signs that your gutters need cleaning. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to call a professional.
1. Water Staining
If you notice water staining on your fascia boards or roofing, it’s time to clean gutters. Clogged gutters can cause standing water and poor water flow. Not only does water staining look bad, but it can result in expensive structural damage. If the water isn’t drained and clogging continues, it can result in mildew and black mold. These both pose a severe health risk to family members and tenants.
After having a professional assess your gutter system, we suggest a sealant for wood fascia to omit further problems. Gutter guards can also help the water flow in the correct direction.
If you have experienced water staining, you might want a professional to fix the damage. This will improve your curb appeal.
2. Sagging Gutters
Are your gutters starting to sag? This is a tell-tale sign of too much weight within the gutter system, or a clog in the downspout. The integrity of the rain gutters and hangers should remain stable overtime. This can especially happen in two-story homes with a sophisticated gutter system.
Sagging gutters can enhance the effects of clogs. Once the angle of the gutters is damaged, water will have a difficult time draining.
If you notice your gutters are beginning to sag, you’ll want to do a DIY gutter scoop. If you want, you can call the professionals in to address the issue. Over time, gutter sagging can damage the entire system and you may need new gutters. This is an expensive option, that can easily be avoided with regular maintenance.
3. Overflowing Water
If water is overflowing out of the sides of your gutters during a rain storm, you may need guttering maintenance. This can be a sign of clogged gutters or you may need a larger downspout to transport the water.
Depending on the spring melt in your area, you may need to change your drainage system. To find a good fit for your home, consider turning to a professional to help. We can help assess the needs of your home and provide feedback on how to improve your system.
Overflowing water can cause irreparable damage to the surrounding landscaping. Topsoil can erode and moist ground can be a breeding area for insects. Cleaning gutters will help avoid these issues. Your landscaping improves the curb appeal of your home. Landscaping can also cost thousands of dollars. Don’t allow overflowing water to damage the exterior of your home.
4. Insect Infestation
Standing water also leads to moisture build-up and moss growth. Moss growth can cause damage to shingles, and it can be hard to treat, and insects can flock to organic waste. If you notice ants, termites, or roaches around your home, they may be attracted to clogged gutters.
Insect infestation can result in severe damage to your home. Critters such as termites can quickly gnaw away at the structure and wood fascia. Animals may also find home in your gutters. Birds and squirrels can pick away at mold and moss.
If you find too many critters in the area, it’s time to get a gutter cleaning. If you’ve noticed termites or an ant infestation, one of the best places to check first is your gutters. The quicker you clean the debris and treat the area, the less opportunity the insects will have to damage the home.
5. It’s Been Too Long
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: You should remember the last time you had a gutter cleaning. If you can’t remember the last time you’ve done routine gutter maintenance, then it’s been too long.
Having your gutters cleaned at least 1-2 times per year is recommended. However, we suggest to some customers that they have them cleaned quarterly for a fresh start. If you live in an area that has extreme weather or several trees, the more frequent the better.
We recommend getting into a routine schedule for gutter cleans. If you do it twice a year, choose the same two months every year so you don’t miss a maintenance checkup.
6. Roof and Basement Leaks
If you’re getting unexplained leaks in your roof and basement, it’s time to clean your gutters. As the wood fascia gets moist and damaged, water can begin to seep into your home. Not only does this damage drywall and flooring, but it also can lead to black mold and other harmful consequences.
You may also begin to notice water in your attic. This is a deep concern if not handled quickly. It usually means your gutters have been clogged for quite some time. Overall, water shouldn’t be getting into your home unexplainably. Once this happens, you will need a professional to check the entire gutter system for further damage.
Overall, if you’re noticing any of these issues, then it’s time to do a thorough check of your gutter system. Having reliable gutters is necessary for large storms and spring melt. If you keep up with routine maintenance, you won’t invest as much money down the road on repairs.
For more information about gutter care, visit the rest of our website or call our office today.