Generally, homeowners should clean their gutters at least twice a year. Depending on the foliage near your house, such as pine trees, it’s best to have them cleaned every three months. And one of these suitable times for cleaning is right after fall when the last leaves have fallen.
Besides enhancing the look of your home, gutter cleaning prevents water damage, pest infiltration, and freezing concerns. Waiting until the last minute may cause damage and expensive repairs. So, here are five reasons why you should do them as soon as possible:
1. Avoid Water Damage
Uncleaned leaves and debris in gutters prevent drainage. When water freezes, it forces the melting ice and snow beneath the shingles on your roof and into your home. This leads to leaks, mold, water stains, flooding, damage to your appliances, furniture, and other belongings inside your home.
At the same time, heavy ice dams can form, which results in tearing away your gutters from the edge of your roof. Broken gutters can cause major leaks in your home, making your siding rot and water damage seep into the windows and walls.
2. Prevent Costly Repairs
While a few homeowners can DIY clean their gutters, it’s always safe to let professionals do their job. In addition to cleaning, they also inspect other components of your gutters to find any signs of current and future problems. During their inspection, they ensure that all fasteners are intact and working correctly.
They include checking the fascia boards to look for any evidence of rot. These are wooden components, which hold up your gutters. Though not all houses have these, those who do are at risk of water damage. When you have clogged gutters, your fascia boards can deteriorate and rot if they’re exposed to excess water for a long period.
Overall, they conduct a comprehensive inspection of your gutter system to detect any signs of damage to your home as early as possible. Once they see some issues, they address them before they cause further damage, and eventually, more expensive repairs.
3. Avoid Causing Cracks in Your Foundation
When water overflows from your gutters and pools along the foundation of your house, it can freeze and cause expansion and cracks in your foundation. If these cracks become bigger, water can seep through, resulting in foundation damage. Meaning, you will end up with costly repairs.
Usually, horizontal cracks indicate a problem. They result from hydrostatic water pressure from the outside of the wall, leading to a failure in the foundation. Most foundations are designed to withstand water and soil pressure. However, additional pressure from heavy rains or flooding can create severe horizontal cracks that need to be fixed as soon as possible.
4. Avoid Health Hazards to Your Family
Debris in your gutters, such as leaves, twigs, and pine needles, start to pile up when left uncleaned. They can be a hotbed for molds that can quickly spread under the eaves of your roof and into the attic and soffit of your home. If one of your family members has asthma, they can be affected by these harmful mold spores in the air.
5. Keep Winter Pests Away
Debris in your gutters can be a perfect host for mice and rodents that are seeking refuge during the cold winter season. The real trouble begins when they chew through woods and find their way inside your home. While you can handle one or two mice, it becomes a major problem when they become dozens since they’re known to be quick breeding.
Calling Professionals In Case of Water Damage
If you experience water leaks due to unclean and broken gutters that cause mold growth, eliminating it should not be delayed. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and sometimes mycotoxins. If you inhale or touch mold or mold spores, it may cause allergic reactions if you’re a sensitive individual. It may also trigger asthma attacks. Plus, mold gradually destroys the things they grow on.
Getting rid of the mold but not fixing the source of water will not stop the problem. That’s why it’s important to consider calling mold remediation professionals, such as PuroClean, especially if the moldy area is over 10 square feet. If you work with contractors, make sure to check references.