Gutter cleaning is one of the most vital tasks to keeping your home in working order. Gutters take all the water that falls on your roof and direct to a location far enough away from your home to avoid water damage. If this task is neglected for too long, several bad things will start happening. So if you own a home, and that home has gutters, listen up.
Blockages Reduce Flow
Leaves, bird nests, wasps, insects, Frisbees, balls, and other objects can all cause blockages in your gutters. These blockages cause the water to overflow during heavy rain. In and of itself, this overflow will not cause immediate problems, unless of course you have delicate plants right below the overflow point. After a while though, blockages can cause serious issues.
- Foundation problems: water can begin to flow towards your home's foundation causing cracks, mold, and weakening of the concrete.
- Water ingress: the pooling water can find its way into the walls of your home. It can get behind siding and stucco, causing major water damage.
- Wood rot: any time water and wood come together the result isn't pretty. If your gutters can't direct water away from your home, the structure can begin to rot.
Cleaning the Gutters
The good news is that the solution is simple: gutter cleaning. Grab a ladder and carefully start pulling away leaves and other matter from the gutters. You can also use a hose to flush out some of the looser debris. If you do not feel comfortable doing it yourself, hire a pro. Gutters should be cleaned once a year. It is a good idea to clean them once the majority of the leaves have fallen off your trees, but before winter sets in. Winter can wreak havoc on gutters with snow falling and melting throughout the season. The melting water can freeze if it isn't flowing and can actually cause your gutters to pull away from the house or break all together.
Don't Forget the Downspout
The downspout is the point in your gutters where the water is directed away from the house. The water should be directed at least a meter from the house, but your city may have laws requiring a greater distance. This is to ensure that the water will flow away from the foundation and avoid causing problems. Check the downspout connections visually every time you mow the lawn or walk near it. It's an easy thing to do.
Gutters are definitely not something on the front of everyone's mind. But by performing a few easy maintenance tasks (or hiring a company like Victoria Window Cleaning to do them for you) you can avoid costly repairs down the road.