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The importance of keeping your gutters clean.
February 6, 2016
If you think a few leaves and twigs in your gutter are harmless, think again. Clean gutters are the single most important key to avoiding major and expensive home repairs. Gutters perform one duty: controlling the water around your home. We can provide you with the finest workmanship and strongest gutters available, but unfortunately once we leave it's up to you to ensure the gutters remain functional. It's imperative to monitor roof / gutter debris accumulation along with downspout discharge to prevent problems. If debris prohibits your gutters from doing their job then you can wind up with some serious problems:
GUTTER DAMAGE - Aluminum gutters are factory coated with a corrosion resistant sealant that's engineered to handle decades of use. They're designed to transport roof water to the ground on an as needed basis, not be subject to continuous submersion. When the gutters become clogged and water is allowed to sit in them for prolonged periods their life span is prone to become quite a bit shorter. Another major problem is the added weight of the water / ice, which is the most common cause of gutters pulling away from the fascia, or worse yet falling off the house completely.
LEAKING BASEMENTS - Clogged gutters are the number one cause of basement water problems. Roof water overflows and accumulates around the foundation. If this happens, basement leaks may be moments away.
CRACKED FOUNDATIONS - Excess water against the foundation wall can weaken the footing and lead to cracks. This is particularly true in the colder months when built-up water at the foundation freezes and causes a condition known as "frost-heave" which can cause severe cracks to foundation walls.
ROTTEN WOOD - Water backing up from clogged gutters will cause moisture damage to the wood fascia around the house. Over time the damage can spread to the roof rafters and decking. The rotted area will get worse quickly if the leak is not eliminated by cleaning the gutters.
LEAKING ROOFS - In winter, ice-dams can form on top of clogged gutters. Then snow builds up across the top of the gutter and freezes. During the next thaw, water running off the roof is blocked by the frozen snow and backs up into the house. This can lead to major wall and ceiling damage.
SLIPPERY SIDEWALKS - Overflowing gutters can deposit water on walks and driveways where it can freeze and cause a tripping hazard. Avoid this problem by keeping gutter clean and the spouts extended away from any traffic areas.
AGING DRIVEWAYS - Misdirected and clogged downspouts often cause driveways and walks to sag and crack.
WASHED-OUT LANDSCAPING - Any newly installed plants, grass or trees can be killed by excess water. Overflowing gutters can cause severe erosion and put an early end to young plantings.
WOOD DESTROYING INSECTS - Bugs love moisture. Keeping the soil dry around the foundation perimeter can force bugs to go elsewhere for a tasty snack of dampened two-by-four. Clogged gutters also become a haven for everyone's favorite bugs like mosquitoes.
The good news is that all of these problems are preventable! If you have any concerns about your gutter system, whether it's new or old, give us a call. We can remove all debris from your roof, gutters and downspouts to ensure they're functioning correctly. Unlike many others that offer gutter cleanings, we also have the knowledge and experience to troubleshoot any issues. Being that we're professional gutter installers, our van is always stocked with the materials to make any necessary repairs as well - most minor repairs are included at no extra cost to you! We also carry and install different types of gutter guards / screens to keep your gutters free of debris.