A couple leaves and twigs in your gutters are not harmless nuisances You may be surprised to learn that regular gutter cleaning is the most important key to avoid expensive, major home repairs. What do gutters do? It’s quite simple. They control the water around your home. If debris stops gutters from doing their job, homeowners can end up with some serious problems. So follow these simple tips to avoid major and expensive home repairs.
- Leaking Gutters: Clogged gutters are the No 1. cause of basement water problems. Roof water overflows and accumulates around the foundation when gutters are clogged. If this unfortunate event happens, basement leaks may be minutes away.
- Cracked Foundations: Clogged gutters can cause excess water against the foundation wall to weaken the footing and lead to foundation wall cracks. You’ll find this true in the colder months when built-up water at the foundation freezes and causes a condition known as "frost-heave." Avoid frost heave at all costs- it can cause severe cracks to foundation walls.
- Leaking Roofs: When it’s cold outside, ice dams can form on top of clogged gutters. Once the ice dam is formed, snow then builds up across the top of the clogged gutter and freezes. Then during a thaw, water running off the roof is blocked by the frozen snow and backs up into the house. Major wall and ceiling damage is the result.
- Rotten Wood: Rotten wood is a big problem. Water backing up from clogged gutters will cause moisture damage to the wood fascia around the house. If the leak is not eliminated by cleaning the gutters, the situation will only get worse.
- Slippery Sidewalks: Slippery sidewalks can cause a serious hazard. Water from overflowing gutters spills out onto walks and driveways where it can freeze and cause a slipping hazard. To solve the problem, keep gutters clean and the spouts extended away from any traffic areas.
- Washed Out Landscaping: Any newly installed plants, trees or grass can be killed by excess water from clogged gutters. Overflowing gutters can cause severe erosion and put an will be the end of young plantings.
- Cracked Driveways:Misdirected and clogged gutter spouts often cause driveways and walks to sag and crack.
Check gutters periodically and be mindful of signs of clogging (i.e. you will see over-flowing in a rainstorm.) Follow these tips and avoid a whole host of serious and expensive problems.