Everyone knows that autumn leaves can swiftly result in clogged gutters, but the problem often begins much sooner than most homeowners realize. While the dramatic color change of autumn trees is a bright, beautiful warning of the large-scale leaf shedding to come, trees often begin losing leaves on a less-noticeable scale in the summer months.
Why Leaves Can Start Falling Early and Why You Don’t Want Clogged Gutters
There are several reasons why trees begin shedding their bounty a bit ahead of schedule. The root of the issue can be serious, but it’s also a perfectly natural occurrence for many different types of trees. Most summer leaf falling can be attributed to one of three causes:
- Pests and Disease – the most serious underlying causes of summer leaf shedding are pest activity or disease. Depending on the type of infestation or infection, remedies can involve anything from treatment to complete removal of the entire tree. A relatively high volume of leaf loss due to pests or disease can clog gutters faster than you might think, so part of removal or treatment should be a thorough gutter cleaning.
- Water Woes – Too little rainfall can cause leaves to begin shedding earlier than usual, but so can a particularly wet season. When there’s a significant deviation in either direction of rainfall during the summer, leaves are likely to drop earlier than expected.
- Crowded Canopy – Heavily wooded lots and huge individual trees block a surprising amount of sunlight, and sometimes trees grow more leaves than they can actually support. In addition, hot weather, especially during a dry spell, can cause trees to drop leaves to conserve water.
While the volume of leaves falling throughout the summer is low in comparison to fall’s abrupt cascade, it’s still significant enough to wreak havoc with your gutter system. Collecting throughout the season, leaves that fall in summer paired with seasonal downpours can spell trouble for your home in more ways than one, but in the end, all roads lead back to clogged gutters.
Why You Shouldn’t Put Off Summer Gutter Cleaning
It goes without saying that you should spring for a gutter cleaning as soon as the last of the leaves have fallen. What you may not realize, though, is that it’s equally important to make sure they’re clear when those leaves begin to drop. The more space occupied by the leaves of summer shedding, the more water flow through gutters is obstructed.
Left unchecked, gutter clogging can cause a wide range of issues in and around your home. These include but are not limited to:
- Mold and Water Damage – Few things strike fear in the heart of a homeowner like the idea of unsightly and potentially toxic microbial growth. Mold and mildew aren’t just eyesores; they can also present genuine health risks for everyone in your home. Standing water will inevitably turn into mold and mildew; in your gutters, this microbial activity can migrate inside the walls, attic, and roof to cause real trouble. Remediation is an extensive and costly process, so it’s best to avoid trouble altogether by preventing clogs in the first place.
- Compromised Foundation – The single most important aspect of your home to protect is the foundation. A compromised foundation puts your entire structure at risk, dramatically reduces your property value, and is incredibly expensive to address. Clogs prevent your gutters from doing what they’re designed for: diverting water away from your foundation to protect it from damage.
- Damage to Lawns and Landscaping – It may seem odd that a problem originating at the roofline can hurt your landscaping, but clogged gutters can absolutely damage your lawn. When water flows over clogged gutters, shrubbery, grass, and flowers on the ground are in the direct line of fire.
- Leaking Roof – A new roof is a significant investment; one you want to protect for as long as possible. After all, replacement is expensive and stressful; it’s only natural to look for ways to extend its lifespan. One of the most effective ways to do that, however, is also a relatively simple one: cleaning out your gutters. Water intrusion damages roofing and shortens its lifespan, leading to leaks and damage inside your home.
Professional leaf removal and gutter cleaning are the most important things you can do to protect your home, roof, and landscape. Carolina Power Wash can help you get ready for summer storms and the autumn ones to come, ensuring you don’t have clogged gutters.