All of us are familiar with the fact that we have to take home maintenance measures from time to time in order to prolong the life of the house. Sometimes, the last thing that crosses our minds is cleaning the gutters. During heavy rains, the water that gets deposited on your roof has to be drained out in a very short time.
This is what the gutter system does, as it channels the rainwater through the roof edges, draining it out through downpipes. Having your gutters cleaned often prevents build-up and clogging and keeps them in good working condition. When your gutters are blocked, the rainwater could end up building rapidly.
Problems That Can Arise When Gutters are Not Cleaned
When proper cleaning of the gutters is not done from time to time, it can lead to water damage in the house. These problems can get aggravated during heavy rains. Let us take a look at some of the risks that can occur if the gutters are not cleaned.
1. Pest Problems: When gutters get blocked with leaves and debris, it can provide an environment for pests to make a home. You might be welcoming mice, birds, squirrels, and mosquitoes into your home.
This is because when the gutters are blocked, they tend to get damaged and develop holes and cracks in the walls and foundation. These pests can enter your home through these entrances. Unless you do something about the gutters, calling the exterminators to deal with the pests will most likely not do much.
2. Increasing illnesses and allergies: Another problem that can arise from water damage and cracks in the home is growing mould and pollen. If members of your family are prone to allergies and sickness, the increased levels of mould and pollen can worsen their health and trigger allergies.
If you see mould developing in any part of the house, you should try to fix the problem as soon as possible. Getting the gutters cleaned ensures that the problem does not worsen. Living with mould can come with long term consequences for the health.
3. Structural damage to the house: Clogged gutters do not just cause water leaks but also contribute to the structural damage of the house. When the gutters are blocked, they can shift the foundation, cause soil erosion and destroy the gardens. In addition to this, it can also lead to cracks in the walls, foundation and chimney, besides flooding in the basement.
The siding of the house can also start rotting, and the water damage could end up seeping into the walls and the windows. Fixing these issues can turn out to be very expensive, so it is best to prevent them from arising by undertaking regular gutter cleaning.
4. Extensive roof damage: If the gutters are not cleaned, heavy rains and snow can make ice dams in the roof and cause a lot of issues. Ice dams are formed when the melting snow refreezes on the roof. If this issue is not dealt with on time, it can cost you a lot of money as you would have to get your roof replaced.
5. Ruins the aesthetics of the house: Although this issue seems like a minor problem compared to structural and water damage, clogged gutters generally make the house look very dirty.
Since the water in a clogged gutter seeps into the walls and the windows, damaging them in the process, it can definitely make your house look very unappealing. It will also be quite noticeable for the neighbour and passersby and make it look like the home is neglected.
6. Affect the warranty of your home: Many home insurances stipulate that regular gutter cleaning is required if you want to cover roof repairing/installation in the warranty. It is best to stay ahead on the gutter cleaning to avoid affecting the home warranty.
How to Undertake Gutter Cleaning?
Now that you know how important it is to undertake scheduled gutter cleaning, let us explore how you can go about gutter maintenance. The gutters should ideally be cleaned once a year or sometimes twice. It is best to get them cleaned during the fall season, however, some houses which have a lot of trees also get them cleaned during spring.
Components of a Gutter System: The gutters help in the tunnelling water off the roof and away from the house through downpipes. The following components are part of the gutter system
· Gutter: Runs through the edges of your roof
· End cap: Used in closing the gutters.
· Fascia bracket: Provide structural support by connecting to the eaves
· Downspout: Helps in removing the water from the roof to the ground.
· Elbow: Is attached to the downspout to redirect the rainwater away from the house.
DIY gutter cleaning vs getting them cleaned professionals: If you wish to do the gutter cleaning yourself, you would need to have a steady footing on high ladders and a host of tools. These tools consist of a trowel, buckets, work gloves, garden hose, protective glasses and a gutter cleaning kit. To make sure that the gutters are cleaned thoroughly, it is best to entrust this job to a professional or a gutter cleaning gold coast specialist.
It is also safer than doing all the cleaning yourself. Professionals can clean out the dirt, debris and algae thoroughly and also inspect the gutter to ascertain that it is functioning properly. If any parts need replacement or repair, the gutter cleaning specialist can look after that as well.
Professionals can also suggest you get wired mesh and gutter guards installed, which help in trapping the debris before it reaches the gutter in the future.
From this discussion, it is amply evident how important it is to undertake scheduled gutter cleaning. The risks that can arise out of inadequate gutter system maintenance can cause huge damages to the structure of the house. Every homeowner knows that prevention is better than cure. It is best to contact a specialist to get your gutters cleaned professionally.