Little-Known Consequences of Not Cleaning Gutters
Every year in the spring and the fall, you start to hear reminders about that dreaded home chore, cleaning the gutters. No one likes to do it and it is very tempting to skip it especially when life has you busy juggling so many other things, but not cleaning your gutters can have more far reaching consequences then you might realize.
You have heard that it increases the change of water damage to your home, especially after heavy rains, but it is more complicated than that. Here are some little known consequences of not cleaning gutters:
Growing Pest Problems
Gutters filled with leaves and other debris is a tempting environment for a host of pests like mosquitos, birds, mice and squirrels. But they won’t just be on the outside of your home. Clogged and damaged gutters will cause cracks and holes in your foundation and walls making a perfect entrance into your home for these pests. You don’t want to have to keep calling the exterminator, do you?
The water damage and fissures in the home is also going to mean mold in the home and higher pollen counts making life more difficult for family members who suffer from allergies or are easily prone to sickness.
Always be on the lookout for signs of mold in your home and get it properly cleaned up and the problem fixed as soon as possible otherwise there could be long term health consequences for those living in the home.
Structural Damage to Your Property
It is important to realize that there is a lot more at risk here than just a few water leaks. Clogged gutters also cause soil erosion, shifting the foundation and destroying your gardens, flooding basements and cracks in the foundation, walls, even the chimney. Your siding will also start to rot and water damage will seep into windows and walls. This can get every expensive to fix.
Damage to the Roof Can Be Extensive
Also expensive to fix is damage to your roof. Heavy rains and snow can cause a lot of problems and increases the risk for ice dams on the roof, which occur when melting snow on the roof backs up and refreezes. If you don’t correct the problem, you will need to completely replace your roof a lot sooner than you probably hoped. And many insurance policies won’t cover this type of damage.
It’s Not Aesthetically Pleasing Either
While minor compared to structural damage and mold and pests, if your pride yourself on keeping a beautiful home, then neglecting your gutters is a really bad idea. Clogged gutters look very dirty and untidy and when there is damage to them or to the walls or windows because of the clogged gutters, it will be very noticeable to passerbys. Do you want your home to look neglected?
You Could Be Voiding Your Home Warranty
Many home warranties have as a stipulation that you need to do regular gutter cleanings fail to comply your policy want cover roof repairs or the installation of a new roof. Why take the risk?
Now that you know why you shouldn’t put off cleaning your gutters any more, here are some tips for handling a clogged gutter as easy as possible. First know your options. The most important thing to realize is that there are several ways to unclog your gutters and downspouts and they all don’t require you climbing a ladder and scaling the roof. Your safety is always number one so make sure whatever cleaning method you choose does not put you at risk in any way.
Ways to clean your gutters:
- Use a leaf blower or a hose– but make sure you wear goggles and a dust mask and heavy work gloves.
- Purchase a gutter cleaning kit that can connect to your leaf blower.
- Use a garden trowel or gutter scoop to clean it out by hand. For best results, start at the drain outlet near the low end of the gutter. Then just dump into a bucket to dispose of when you are all done. It is best to do it when the leaves are only slightly damp not real soggy.
Besides focusing on what is just in the gutters, also make sure to use the leaf blower to blow any leaves or debris off the roof itself so it doesn’t all end up in the gutters the next time it rains.
If you have any concerns about safely climbing up and down the ladder, then your safest bet is to hire a professional cleaning company. If you are going to do it yourself, make sure you have a sturdy ladder and never ever stand on the top two rungs. Also always wear proper safety gear.
Can Gutter Guards Help?
There are also different gutter guards and leaf-catchers that can help make maintaining your gutter system a lot easier. But be careful when choosing one because, debris can still settle through them and many of these products are not cheap. If you do decide to get one, make sure it can be easily removed for cleaning.
Another product that can make maintaining your gutter system easier is TheSpoutOff. It is especially helpful if you have small rain gutter outlets because TheSpoutoff outlets are designed with a larger opening allowing for water to still run down even if other parts of the gutter are clogged. Another great plus is that these outlets are easy to keep clean through the removable downspout that allows you to check on the outlets without having to climb a ladder. With TheSpoutOff, a fear of heights or balance concerns will no longer keep you from properly taking care of your home and it is a lot cheaper than hiring a professional cleaner to come regularly to clear out all the debris.
The SpoutOff can be retrofitted to your current gutter system or it can be added to a new one, depending upon your needs. The instructions are relatively easy to follow so it is something you can easily install yourself, but any local gutter company can do it for you as well.
Want to learn more about how TheSpoutOff can make your seasonal outdoor chores a lot easier? Contact TheSpoutOff today to learn how it can take the hassle out of cleaning your gutters.