Prevent Damage to Your Home by Cleaning Your Gutters
Gutters are an important and functional part of your home. When they are in good condition and working as intended, they control the flow of rainwater and thus provide protection for your roof and walls as well as for your foundation. However, gutters can turn into a major headache if you fail to maintain them. It is important to clean your gutters regularly or you may find yourself dealing with problems like the ones below.
Problems Commonly Caused by Clogged Gutters
If your roof leaks, it may be because of your gutters. The purpose of a gutter is to carry water away from the roof. However, clogs in the gutter can result in standing water right against the roofs edge. More rainfall will cause the gutters to overflow. The overflowing water may go under the shingles and into the plywood under the roof, which will cause a leak. This will eventually cause the plywood to start rotting. Snow and ice in your gutters are another potential cause of roof leaks. When there is standing water in your gutters and that water freezes, it can create an ice dam. The result is that water cannot run off and has nowhere to go but up under your shingles and into your home.
Your gutters are also supposed to carry water away from the building. If they are clogged, the water running off may pool at the base of your home. That water could seep indoors or cause damage to your structure. The result may be far more expensive than the cost of a professional gutter cleaning.
When water accumulates in gutters, it can make them very heavy. The weight will put pressure on the fasteners and they may not hold up. Eventually, the gutters will sag and may even break away from the structure.
Standing water is attractive to pests like mosquitoes, carpenter ants and termites. Once they have found the standing water in your gutters, they will likely move into your home soon after. Infestations are especially probable if the moisture has already caused structural damage to your home.
How Often Should Gutters be Cleaned?
This is largely dependent on the number of trees in your yard. The spring and fall are the best times to get your gutters cleaned as these are the times that your gutters are most likely to get clogged.
Should You Attempt to do the Job Yourself?
Cleaning gutters can be dangerous work unless you know what you are doing. The Consumer Products Safety Commission found that falls from ladders caused more than 240,000 Americans to wind up in emergency rooms in 2009. A fall is more likely if you do not use a ladder regularly. On the other hand, professionals know how to stay safe as well as how to get your gutters clean quickly.
If you are not comfortable getting on a ladder or simply want the peace of mind that comes with professional gutter cleaning, get in touch with a contractor to get your gutters properly cleaned.