Perhaps one of the most overlooked exterior cleaning tasks is those gutters hovering just above your line of sight.
It’s easy to spot grass that needs to be trimmed, a bit of black mold on the siding or driveways and walkways that need to be pressure washed. But, somehow, gutters are often forgotten until it’s too late. Dirty, clogged gutters can create more problems than the average homeowner is prepared to deal with. Let’s look at some of the most important reasons to keep those gutters cleaned and inspected annually.
1. Damage to the Entire Roofing Structure
Gutters are actually part of the entire roofing system. Along with fascias and soffits, gutters are typically installed by roofing contractors. So, these are also the experts to call on at least annually to inspect, clean and repair any damaged gutters. When gutters crack and leak, the entire roofing structure can suffer, which also leads to water filtering into the foundation and structure of the home itself. This can lead to many issues, such as the following.
2. Structural Damage to the Home
The consequences of a leaky roof can be enormous, and the damage is often beyond what the average homeowner can afford. As mentioned above, broken or damaged gutters can allow water to seep down to the very foundation of the home. Over time, lumber begins to rot, you may experience black mold seeping through interior walls and the foundation itself will be weakened if left unattended. Enough cannot be said about the importance of preventing water damage to the structure/foundation with proper drainage, as severe leaks can render a home uninhabitable after time.
3. Preventing Pest Infestation
The number of pests that will build nests in gutters clogged with leaves and debris is beyond amazing. You can harbor anything from termites to rodents, birds and any other destructive pest imaginable if you leave that tempting nesting material there for them to breed in.
4. Damage to Landscaping
What about all those lovely plants and shrubs you’ve planted along the home? A clogged or damaged gutter will not provide the runoff to the appropriate downspout. All that water during a strong rainstorm can run over the sides of the gutter, causing over watering to those prized plants you’ve been babying throughout the season. Then, there is mud to contend with, and who wants to deal with that? Gutters are designed to direct water to downspouts so that water runs where it will cause the least damage.
Of course, gutters that are left unchecked for long periods of time can ruin the entire appeal of the exterior of your home. Branches, leaves and all sorts of debris do nothing for the aesthetic appeal you are after, especially if you are listing your home for sale. There really are so many reasons to have your gutters cleaned and inspected at least once a year that you should keep those roofing contractors on speed dial. You never know when a particularly strong storm might damage your roof or gutter. The entire roofing system is vital to the structural integrity of your home, and gutters are more important than you can imagine.