Gutter Cleaning

The Importance of Gutter Cleaning
The roof is one of the most important features of your home; it protects your family and the structure of your home from the elements. Simultaneously, the gutters also play a critical role in keeping your home safe from the damages that may be caused by the water that flows from the roof. Your home’s gutter system is responsible for carrying the water off of and away from the roof for disposal on the ground. It is essential for protecting your home and foundation from water damage.

Other than holding and draining water, the gutters also catch things like leaves, litter, dust, and other debris that the roof endures. Over time, the gutters will clog, causing a disturbance in the flow of the water. Gutter cleaning is probably one of your most disliked chores, but it’s one you can’t avoid at any cost. If you enjoy your home and want to protect it from damage, you will need to make cleaning the gutters twice per year ritual. The good news is that there are companies trained to do the work for you. The following information will allow you to understand the importance of gutter cleaning.

Importance of Clean Gutters
While it’s easy to put off cleaning the gutters yourself or even scheduling a time for a professional to do the work, there are a number of problems that arise if they aren’t cleaned. It is common for homeowners to not think about their gutters when it comes to important features of their home, but if the water isn’t able to properly flow away from your house, damage can result in several areas of your house from the roof to the foundation. Some reasons why it’s important to keep the gutters clean include:

Roof Damage
When leaves, dirt, and debris clog the gutters and prevent the water from flowing, it can result in extensive damages, such as wood rot in the roofing system. Water that isn’t flowing as it should will eventually back up and make its way under the roof shingles causing them to loosen and then eventually disintegrate and fall away.

Pest Prevention
The stagnant water in clogged gutters becomes a haven for mosquitoes, which puts you and your family at risk of a wide range of diseases that are carried by mosquitoes. Clogged gutters are also the ideal place for critters such as birds and squirrels to create nests with the damp leaves.

Soffit and Fascia Damage
The soffit is the exposed siding beneath the roof’s overhang. It has venting to help keep a steady airflow between the roof and the attic. The fascia consists of the long straight board along the lower edge of the roof, which supports the lower edge of the bottom row of roofing shingles to which the gutters are installed. Clogged gutters can prevent effective ventilation from the soffit, which leads to moisture build-up and ultimately the formation of mold. Overflowing water can significantly damage the fascia, which increases the risk of the gutter system completely collapsing.

Damage to Garden Beds
Whether you have flower gardens near the foundation or a vegetable garden in close vicinity to your house, the gutters can become clogged and the water will spill over into the garden beds, causing damage to the health of the plants. It is essentially overwatering the plants, drowning the roots, and killing them.

Cracks in the Foundation
If water overflows and pools along the foundation of your home, it can lead to extensive and expensive issues for the homeowner, especially if the water freezes. Freezing water along the foundation will expand and generate cracks in the foundation, which ultimately leads to the basement flooding when the integrity of the foundation is compromised.

Ice Dams
If you notice icicles hanging from the gutters, it means the gutters are clogged and the water draining from the roof has frozen. As the snow melts, the water flows into the gutters to be directed away from the roof, however, if the water can’t flow correctly, it builds up and will refreeze in cold temperatures. The icicles are caused by water overflowing from a clogged gutter, so as pretty as they may be, icicles aren’t a good thing. The gutter system isn’t designed to accommodate the weight of ice dams, so they begin sagging or are pulled entirely away from the house. The ice dams also cause the water to back up under the shingles, which causes mold, leaks, water stains, and deterioration.

Health Risks
One of the most serious outcomes of uncleaned gutters is a risk of health problems for your family. Water that backs up under the shingles will eventually find its way into the structure of your home, causing mold and mildew. Mold spores that are released into the air also get into your living environment, which can cause a variety of health issues, including asthma and allergies. By cleaning the gutters, you can remove any potential contaminants prior to them becoming a health risk for your family.

There is no doubt that cleaning the gutters is a dirty, time-consuming task, but it is something that needs to be done. Fortunately, there are professionals that can take care of the job for you. If you are considering doing the work yourself, keep in mind that if you aren’t experienced at working on a ladder, you could make a mistake and fall. Professionals have experience and the proper safety equipment to make working while on a ladder safer. Gutter cleaning is also a time-consuming task that should be done twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Hiring professionals will allow you to enjoy the weekend instead of spending your time on a ladder cleaning out gutters. If you are determined to clean the gutters yourself, it is essential that you take the appropriate safety measures - always wear non-slip shoes while on the ladder and have someone nearby to assist you with tools and equipment.

If you need professional gutter cleaning assistance, contact Tomlinson Cannon.