No matter the style of your home or roof, you’ll have gutters installed. And those gutters quickly get clogged with fallen leaves, dirt, lichen, and even birds nests. Experts recommend you clean them out at least twice a year.
Keeping your gutters clean will save you time and money on repairs to your roof and crawlspace, walls, home interior, and even your foundations. It’ll help keep potentially expensive or unhealthy nuisances like pests, mold, and rot at bay.
If you haven’t spared your gutters a thought recently, there’s no better time like the present to turn your attention to them. Read on for the reasons why clear gutters are essential for any homeowner.
Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal
Cleaning gutters is a simple but cost-effective way to keep the exterior of your home looking sharp. If you can see built-up debris or your gutters are overflowing with each rainfall, it’s time to give them a clear-out.
Not only that, but your garden may suffer. Overwatering can cause dead plants and trees and brown patches in your lawn. Constant overflows in the same spot can cause concrete or paved paths to buckle and decking to rot.
This is particularly important for people selling their house now or soon. Experts say that excellent curb appeal can add up to 11 percent to your home’s value.
Finally, depending on where you live, keeping your gutters clean might even be a rule. Some community management associations and HOAs require a regular clear-out for aesthetic and safety reasons.
Make Your Gutters Last Longer
Replacing guttering costs between $1,000 to $1,800 on average. However, that cost can rise as high as $5,000 depending on the materials you choose and the difficulty of the installation job.
If you’re not willing to shell out for regular gutter cleaning, you could be looking at gutter replacement much sooner than you (or your bank account) would like.
As organic matter builds up in a gutter, it can erode the material. The heavier that load becomes, the more your gutters are at risk of sagging or even breaking their mounts completely. The next big storm and entire sections of your guttering could be on the ground.
In the worst instance, the broken guttering could bring parts of your roof down with it. And that makes for an even more expensive repair job.
Keep Your Basement Dry
You spent a ton of money to renovate your basement, and now it looks beautiful. But, after a few months, you notice a musty smell. So you hunt around for the source and see water leaking in.
Where’s it coming from? It’s time to learn how to clean gutters. Urgently!
When it rains on clogged gutters, the water has nowhere to go and is forced out over the sides. As a result, it pools at the bottom of your home. Over time, this water seeps through gaps in the wall and infiltrates the basement.
The excess moisture can deteriorate the concrete or brick, ruin paint or wallpaper, and lead to the growth of harmful mildew.
Maintain a Solid Foundation
Rainwater pouring into a basement is one thing, but did you know that debris-packed home gutters can also ruin your foundations?
And this is a more serious problem to fix. Foundation repairs aren’t just expensive. They can also lower the value of your home if you ever decide to sell it.
And even worse, if you don’t notice and repair an unstable foundation, your home won’t pass an inspection.
Just like with a basement, water pours from blocked gutters and seeps into the ground at the base of your home. If you live in a cold climate, this water can freeze during the winter, cracking the foundations.
Regular gutter maintenance should be part of a homeowner’s pest management routine. Congested gutters hold rainwater, and this attracts all manner of wildlife: from rodents and birds who love to drink the water to mosquitoes that like to lay their eggs in it.
These pests aren’t only pesky in the summer or when you’re trying to sleep. They can also harbor diseases that endanger the health of your family. For example, mosquitos may carry the West Nile, Zika, dengue, or chikungunya virus in certain states.
Regularly clean your gutters of plants, fallen leaves, sticks, and dirt. Gutter guards can also offer some protection, but don’t rely on them alone.
Avoid Roof Rot
The primary function of guttering is to direct rainwater away from your roof.
Most roofs in the USA are designed to channel rainwater down into gutters, where it flows down drainpipes and into municipal stormwater drains or a personal rainwater collection system.
So as you can tell, if the guttering is filled with organic matter, it won’t be able to channel that water away as it’s designed to do. The eaves of your roof will constantly be subjected to water, potentially causing roof rot, damage to tiles or other roofing materials, and degradation of the underlayment.
In the worst cases, the water infiltration could affect your decking, joists, or crawlspace, compromising the structural integrity of your home or causing mold issues.
Savvy Homeowners Keep Gutters Clean
A clean guttering system equals a healthy home and its inhabitants. You’ll reduce mold and moisture build-up, ensure you’re protected against fires and high winds, and protect your basement or foundations.
Don’t let clogged gutters be the downfall of your otherwise well-maintained property. If you don’t feel like you have the time to keep your gutters clean, schedule a twice-yearly (at minimum) appointment with a professional cleaning company.
Sixpenny Chimney & Air Duct Cleaning has been serving homeowners in Northern Virginia since 1980. If you’re in our area, don’t delay. Request a quote for gutter cleaning today.