Gutters are a vital component of your home’s roofing system. These horizontal metals that are typically attached along the roof’s eave edges are responsible for ensuring proper water discharge off your roof; once they’re left uncleaned and filled with dirt, leaves, and other debris — you are putting your roof (and even your home’s foundation) susceptible to damage. Hence, gutter cleaning is something that should be done on a regular basis. But how often should this “regular” be?
On The Frequency of Cleaning Your Gutters
The general rule of thumb is to clean gutters twice a year: once in the spring and another in the fall. But while this is the typical schedule, it is still dependent on the place where you live — from the climate to the number of trees near your house. In this case, you’d have to do more frequent gutter cleanings than the usual semi-annual recommendation.
Furthermore, additional gutter cleaning is also required if your home is placed in a downhill position. This location lets your roof and gutters accumulate more debris compared to when it is placed in a plain ground.
You’d also have to inspect your gutters and your whole roofing system after a severe hurricane. This is to remove any substantial amount of leaves and even branches that might have fallen into your roof during the storm.
On The Consequences of Failing to Clean Your Gutters
As briefly mentioned above, you’re putting your roof at risk of getting damaged if you don’t include gutter cleaning in your to-do list. To further emphasize the importance of this task, here are the possible consequences you might face if you don’t regularly clean your gutters:
Leaking roofing system. One of the most obvious consequences is getting your gutters clogged, which can further lead to the accumulation of standing water on your roof. When not addressed, the water will eventually leak. The damage can also be felt in the basement once your gutters’ downspouts also remain unclean and clogged.
Cracked foundations. If your gutters’ downspouts get clogged, leaking won’t be your only issue. Your home’s very foundation can get cracked once standing water freezes and expands during the winter season. Apart from cleaning your gutters, it will also help if you can extend their downspouts away from your home.
Mold growth. The undischarged water in your roofing system can also make way for the growth of mold. Once mold gets inside your home, it will be harder and more expensive to repair. Mold can affect the air quality inside your home and can trigger skin and respiratory problems.
Driveway and yard damage. Mold can also grow into your driveway, which can make it more dangerous for your household including your pets. Furthermore, the water that pools up around your house can also kill delicate plants — or freeze during the winter, become slippery, and cause injuries.
Presence of pests. Because of their design— and the moist decomposing leaves it hosts, which can serve as foods for other animals — gutters inherently attract insects, birds, mice, and other pests. To prevent these unwanted residents from settling in your gutters (and inside of your home), you have to be diligent in cleaning your whole roofing system regularly.
If you need help with gutter cleaning, let our team of experts do it for you. Contact us today at JCS Home Services.