Cleaning your gutters is one of the most critical tasks for keeping your home safe from the instability of water damage, the growth of mold, and the need for expensive repairs. Ideally, you should clean your gutters several times a year to avoid the kind of problems that lead to structural repairs, mold remediation, and corrective measures for lawn erosion.
How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Gutters?
How often you perform this task depends on your location. If your home stands near lots of trees, you are going to need to clean your gutters out more frequently than if you lived in an urban area where few trees exist.
Likewise, the style of roof you have is also going to influence the number of times you should clean out your gutters. Asphalt roofs tend to shed as they age, increasing the likelihood of your gutters getting clogged and preventing the proper flow of rain runoff. Unfortunately, the professionalism of your roofer might also influence how often you need to clean the gutters. If the roofer left spent nails and other types of small debris on your rood, you can expect to clean your gutters after every heavy rainfall for the next few years after having a new roof put onto your home.
What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Gutters?
When debris builds up inside of your gutters, it creates small dams that prevent the water from flowing freely into the downspouts and away from your home. Instead of traveling away from the roof and walls of your home, the water runs over the gutters or flows in between them and the walls of your home through cracks and gaps. Each of these openings begins to get bigger, forcing the gutters away from the side of your home. Eventually, your gutters start to sag, requiring costly repairs.
Clogged downspouts is another common problem that occurs when your gutter system accumulates debris, which is typically a combination of leaves, insects, bird feathers, twigs, and asphalt particles. These make their way to the downspouts, clogging the opening and preventing the water from flowing through the pipes. As a result, your downspouts might pull away or come apart at their elbows, creating the need to repair them.
The damage created by clogged gutters involves more than just the gutter system of your home. It can lead to water damage on your roof, walls, ceilings, and foundation. Lawn erosion might also occur, requiring the services of a professional landscaper. Moreover, mold and mildew might develop inside and outside of your home, at which point you’ll need mold remediation services. If you want to avoid costly repairs, take the time to clean your gutters or have a professional do it for you. Ideally, you should clear your gutters several times a year right before each season begins.