If you do not remember the last time your gutters were cleaned, it has probably been far too long. Cleaning the gutters on your home is not just about curb appeal. It is also about preventing damage to your home and landscaping. Gutter cleaning is an integral part of home maintenance and should be performed on a regular basis to keep water off of your roof and away from your home’s foundation.
Benefits Of Clean Gutters
Gutter cleaning offers homeowners a number of important benefits, including protection to your doors, walls, ceilings, and foundation. Regular cleaning of your gutters also helps prevent basement flooding and minimizes soil erosion around your property.
Avoid Water Damage
Water damage is one of the biggest risks you face if you fail to clean your gutters. When your gutters become clogged with leaves and other debris, water cannot be properly channeled off of your roof and away from the home’s foundation. Over time, water can seep into your foundation which reduces the integrity of the building. Blocked gutters can also cause water to remain on the roof, leading to damage to your ceilings, floors, walls, and fascia board.
Eliminate Unwanted Pests
Through gutter cleaning, you can also prevent pests from nesting in your building. Gutters often contain leaves, twigs, and other debris that make for the perfect nesting and breeding grounds for pests like insects, mice, rats, and birds. Over time, this organic matter can break down creating the ideal environment for fungi and other plant life. Tree seedlings that drop into your gutters can cause extensive damage to your home and roof, as well as create an unsightly appearance that reduces your home’s curb appeal.
Prevent Destruction Of Landscaping
There are many other benefits that come from gutter cleaning. By having your gutters cleaned, you can prevent the destruction of your landscaping. Water can quickly build up in clogged gutters and when the water spills over, it falls onto your lawn and garden. Over time, soil erosion can occur and your flowers and plants can be swept away. Clean gutters and downspouts allow water to channel away from your landscape and fall in an area that will not damage your property. In addition, gutter cleaning can help prevent basement flooding, extend the lifespan of your roof, and reduce the risk of mold growth which can be harmful to your health.
When To Clean Your Gutters
How often should gutters be cleaned? This is a common question often asked by homeowners that has no one answer. As a general rule of thumb, you should have your gutters cleaned at least twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall. However, there may be times when you need your gutters cleaned more often. For example, if you live in a remote area and your home is surrounded by trees. In this case, your gutters may fill with leaves and twigs more often, resulting in the need for more frequent gutter cleaning.
If you live in an area surrounded by trees, consider having your gutters cleaned about every three months. The types of trees that surround your property can also influence how often you need gutter cleaning. For example, if you have a lot of pine trees around your home, you know that these trees shed pine needles year-round. Your gutters can quickly collect these pine needles which have difficulty moving through the gutter system and downspouts. In this case, you may need gutter cleaning services more often than someone who has just a couple deciduous trees which tend to shed mostly in the fall.
Warning Signs To Look For
Failure to have your gutters cleaned on a routine basis can lead to a number of problems. It is important to be on the lookout for certain warning signs that could indicate that your gutters are clogged or in need of repair or replacement.
Leaks & Cracks
First, look to see if your gutters leak after it rains. Leaks could indicate that the gutters have cracks or breaks or that there is water spilling over the sides. Also be weary of mold growth. Mold may start to grow in the gutters and can quickly start spreading onto the house or roof.
Noticeable Foundation Problems
Another common warning sign to look for is foundation problems. Cracks in the foundation may not be too noticeable at first but over time, these cracks can become larger and have a profound effect on your home’s structure. These foundation cracks are caused by water damage, especially in the winter season when water freezes and thaws. Another red flag to look for is the abundance of bugs and other critters, as clogged gutters can be a magnet for insects, birds, squirrels, and other animals. In addition to having your gutters cleaned, you will want to contact a local animal control center if you discover an infestation of wildlife on your roof or in your attic.
Pool Of Water Buildup
There are numerous other warning signs that could signal that your gutters need to be cleaned, replaced, or repaired. You may find pools of water in your yard, on your driveway, or near your foundation which typically tells you that water is not draining properly. If the problem is not promptly fixed, it can cause damage to your roof, resulting in leaks in your home. Water may also pool inside of your basement which could mean that your foundation is at risk.
Schedule Gutter Cleaning Services
Most homeowners give little thought to the state of their gutter system until a problem arises. Most gutters will last about 20 years with proper care. However, this timespan can be cut down drastically if you fail to have your gutters cleaned on a regular basis to remove the buildup of leaves, dirt, and debris. If your gutter system has succumbed to cracks, breaks, or similar problems, you will want to have it quickly replaced to prevent water from causing damage to your home or property. For more information about how often your gutters should be cleaned or to schedule gutter repair or replacement, contact Beyond Exteriors.