How often do you think about your gutters? If you’re like most people, it’s not all that often. Neglecting gutter cleaning can be a huge mistake. They’re not in your direct eye line, so it’s not always easy to tell when they’re clogged or damaged. But, unfortunately, unnoticed damage to your gutter system can have far-reaching and costly implications.
What Do Gutters Do?
No matter how good they are at catching falling leaves, sticks, and the occasional rodent, your gutters actually serve a far more critical purpose. Properly designed, installed, and maintained gutters divert rainwater away from sensitive areas of your home, particularly the foundation.
When they’re working well, rain runs down the roof, through the gutters, and exits through downspouts. This allows rainwater to flow safely through gutters rather than collecting around the foundation and causing washout or erosion issues. Unfortunately, damage to your home’s foundation can be genuinely catastrophic, and it can result from something as simple as failing to maintain your gutters.
Rot along the roofline attributable to water damage from clogged gutters will often require an entirely new roof and extensive repairs to address structural decay. It’s also important to note that clogged gutters are usually heavy gutters. High winds are more likely to detach a gutter straining against its own weight; when they do, the damage to your home itself can be extensive.
Safely and Effectively Cleaning Gutters
Before you strap on your non-slip shoes and start trekking up the roof to inspect your gutters, it’s important to know what you should be looking for in the first place. In addition to obvious clogs and debris collection, you’ll need to keep an eye out for any signs of damage to the gutters themselves or damage to roofing where water has previously collected. Once the gutters along the roofline are inspected, it’s time to move to the downspouts.
Identifying a clogged downspout is a bit trickier than finding an obvious obstruction in an open gutter. This is where many are tempted to whip out the pressure washer and blast the inside of downspouts until there’s no chance of a clog, but it’s not the best or most effective course of action.
Leaves, sticks, and dirt are expected debris, but you should also be prepared to come face-to-face with rodents. It’s not uncommon for rodents and birds to build nests in clogged gutters, and it’s unfortunately even more common to find the bodies of drowned wildlife in any areas where water does collect. These tiny intruders can damage your gutters, but nesting rodents can be a disease vector.
Ideally, gutters should be cleaned twice a year: once in spring or summer before leaves begin to fall and again in autumn after trees have shed their bounty. Neglecting gutter cleaning can cause serious damage and this ensures you head into a taxing season for your gutters clean and clear, and then remove all that collects to avoid future damage.
Neglecting Gutter Cleaning Won't Be On Your To Go List With A Professional Gutter Cleaner You Can Trust
There’s a reason why roof, gutter, and home exterior cleaning are part of a specialized industry: it’s complicated work that requires extensive knowledge about multiple cleaning methods and chemical safety. Cleaning gutters is a perfect opportunity for a visual inspection, too, making sure that everything is in good condition, working properly, and free of damage. To make sure your gutter system is in good repair, it’s a good idea to work with professionals who know exactly what damage or potential trouble looks like.
No one wants something as simple as not cleaning the gutters to lead to health risks for an entire household, catastrophic foundation damage, or an utterly destroyed roof. Carolina Power Wash can help. Thorough cleaning and inspection by skilled professionals give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing this easily forgotten but vital task is crossed off your to-do list and done correctly.