Top 3 Reasons to Clean Your Gutters
1. To prevent costly water damage.
– Clogged gutters and downspouts do not allow water flowing from the roof to properly drain out of the house. Water will always take the path of least resistance, and that could mean water intrusion and damage to your home’s roof, siding, trim, and interior. Damaged or clogged downspouts may not disperse water away from your home’s foundation as designed. In colder climates, clogged gutters can also slow down the melting process and drainage of snow from the roof, increasing the risk of ice dams.
2. To maintain the integrity of your gutter system.
– While gutter systems are designed with high-quality materials, they are not designed to take the load of excess leaves, pine needles, and other debris. These foreign substances trap water in gutters and block downspouts. This creates a greater load on your gutter system and its integrity. Entire sections of overloaded gutters can come loose from their anchor points, seams in the gutter can leak, and downspouts can become clogged and damaged. If gutters are not cleaned for many years, the overflowing organic matter will quickly decompose, causing many gutter systems to fill with a type of “soil organic matter.” Subzero temperatures can also add to excess weight due to the formation of ice and icicles.
3. To reduce the increase of insects and pests around your home.
– Many homeowners are unaware that standing water trapped in clogged gutters serves as a perfect breeding ground for many pesky insects, including mosquitoes. Gutters that are filled with debris also serve as a quiet home for other insects and rodents. Routine inspections of your gutter system will also alert you to new bugs. Some things to look for are bee nests and hives.
While cleaning your gutters and keeping them moving is a good idea, the actual act of doing it can be a bit more involved. Be careful when climbing on a roof or using ladders. Be aware of power and utility lines that run over your house. Debris removed from gutters can be a great addition to your home compost pile, or check with your local municipality about their composting guidelines. If you feel like hiring this tedious task, look for a quality-assured gutter cleaning service with references or quality assurance.
For most homeowners, a single seasonal cleaning and inspection should be enough. Areas with a lot of overhead trees should probably have their gutters cleaned twice a year.