6 Reasons You Should Clean Your Gutters
- 12 Dec, 2020
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Your gutters are an important part of your home's drainage system. Water is one of the most destructive forces in any home, so maintaining a functioning water drainage system is a crucial part of home maintenance.
Some homeowners clean their gutters only once per year, but many homeowners should clean their gutters more frequently. Leaves and pine needles accumulate in gutters throughout the spring, summer and fall - and even in the winter. Leaving the gutter cleaning to only once per year can cause a variety of problems.
Why You Should Clean Your Gutters
1. Gutters that aren't cleaned regularly will become clogged.
If you don't clean your gutters on a regular basis, they'll fill up with a combination of pine needles, leaves, sticks, twigs, moss, pollen, algae, mold, mildew, flowers and debris. This blocks the entrance to your downspout, the same way that food prevents water from draining in the sink when you're doing the dishes. Sometimes, this debris also causes downspouts to become clogged.
2. Blocked gutters can't do their job.
Your gutters job is to safely carry water away from your house and its foundation. This is important for a number of reasons. Water around your house can saturate the soil, which can lead to soil heaving during freeze/thaw cycles. Ultimately, this can lead to foundation problems and water leaks in your basement.
3. Blocked gutters can fill with ice.
In winter, clogged gutters can also freeze with water inside of them, which can lead to development of large icicles, ice dams on your roof, and oversized loads of snow and ice sitting precariously on the edge of your roof. This can be a safety hazard and can cause structural damage.
4. Clogged gutters may leak.
Gutters are held together with caulk, and are anchored into the frame of your home. However, they're not meant to hold water for any longer than the time it takes for the water to drain. Gutters that stay full of water for long periods can eventually develop other problems, because the caulk that holds water in your gutters can only withstand so much stress. Clogged gutters can easily develop leaks as the caulk begins to rot and deteriorate. These leaks can spout water over the pathways around your house, by your front door, or wherever the leaks happen to be.
5. Clogged gutters may bend.
Water weighs a lot, and can bend your gutters over time. Depending on how they bend and where they bend, the new shape of your gutters may create new avenues for water to escape from your gutters when they become full.
6. Clogged gutters will eventually pull away from the house.
Eventually, your heavy gutters may start to pull away from the house. This is especially true if wood rot sets in - which can easily happen if your gutters aren't functioning properly.
The cost to repair these problems can vary, depending on the extent of the damage. The longer you wait, the worse the problem gets. Don't let that happen to you!
When To Get Gutters Cleaned?
So, when is it appropriate to clean your gutters? Clogs can happen at any time, even if your gutters have already been cleaned earlier in the year. In fact, for some homes, gutters need to be cleaned at the end of each season. This really depends what type of trees are growing on your property, how close they are, how tall they are and how many storms have hit your home recently.
Watch your gutters for signs of clog. During heavy rain storms, clogged gutters overflow. Other signs that your gutters need to be unclogged or even repaired include:
- Your gutters are sagging in the middle, or sinking on the end way from the downspout, causing water to flow out the gutters on the wrong end.
- Your gutters are rusted.
- Water leaks out of the gutters, usually at the seams and at joints.
How Often Should I Clean My Gutters?
If your home is in a clearing with few trees in the area, gutter cleaning once per year may be enough. If you live on a property near several cottonwood and pine trees, your gutters may fill with debris regularly. After a big wind storm, your gutters may become superficially clogged.
Plan to clean your gutters multiple times after your first year in a new home. If your gutters remain in good condition after the first cleaning, then once per year is enough. If your gutters clog before the year is up, then cleaning twice annually is appropriate.
How Do You Know If Your Gutters Need Cleaning?
You don't have to wait until it rains to decide your gutters need cleaning. Spray your roof with a hose. Let the water roll off your roof into the gutters. Do this for several minutes to give your downspout and gutters a chance to fill up. If they're not clogged, then the gutters will drain continuously as the water continues to roll off the roof and into the gutters.
If the gutters are clogged, they'll fill with water and eventually overflow. You'll also be able to tell your gutters are clogged because more water will enter the gutters than water exiting through the downspout.
Another way to tell it's time to clean gutters: take a peek inside. If they're littered with leaves and mud, there's a good chance they're not draining very well. Have them cleaned!
Are Your Gutters Ready to Be Cleaned? Contact Louisville Handyman & Remodeling
Cleaning the gutters can be a pain, and if your home is more than one story tall, cleaning the gutters can also be dangerous! If you need to clean gutters from your roof, or if you just don't have time to get the gutter cleaning done yourself, you need help from a professional. Contact Louisville Handyman & Remodeling to schedule your gutter cleaning today, or to get started with other upcoming home improvement projects.