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Gutters: What Are They And Why Do You Need Them?
You may not realize it, but your rain guttersplay an important part in protecting your home. Gutters, along with your downspout extension, are designed to remove rainwater away from the foundation of your home. In order to be effective, they must be clear and pitched properly. A properly installed and functioning gutter system is your home’s first line of defense against most water-related home damage. That is why maintaining your rain gutters is incredibly important and why taking preventative measures against gutter clogs should be high on any homeowner’s checklist.
The Most Common Types of Gutter Clogs:
If your rain gutters are left unprotected, there is no end to what can get in and cause your gutters to clog. The most common types of gutter clogs center around debris from surrounding trees and landscaping. Debris such as leaves, pine needles, seed pods, shingle grit, maple spinners, branches, twigs, pinecones, mud, moss, acorns and nuts are the most common culprits.
Unprotected gutters are also susceptible to many other types of clogs stemming from bird nests, honeycombs or other insect nests, mosquitos, termites, ants, squirrels, and yes, even snakes!
How Much Damage Can Clogged Gutters Cause?
Clogged gutters inhibit the proper flow of rainwater away from your home. When this happens, water that accumulates from rainstorms will begin to collect in your gutter system, in your downspout extension, and around your home’s foundation causing very costly damage.
The most prevalent damage caused by clogged gutters occurs around the gutters themselves. Soffit and fascia rot, mold, and roofing damage are often common among homes with clogged gutters. Other major areas of concern revolve around your home’s foundation and surrounding areas including the landscaping surrounding your home and even your driveway. If your home and basement are susceptible to flooding, your clogged gutters may be to blame!
When the rain falls and water backs up throughout the gutter system, you will end up with water in areas of the home that are meant to be dry and clean, like your basement.
When water accumulates around your home, the foundation is put at risk. Erosion weakens your home by slowly removing layer by layer of foundation until it cracks and begins to leak. Don’t risk the integrity of your foundation by allowing water to back up and erode your foundation.
If you have trees near your home, then you have complex root systems growing all around your most important investment. Roots go after water, so if your gutters are clogged and water is accumulating around your home and around your driveway, that complex root system can begin to grow in areas it shouldn’t, causing severe and costly damage to your foundation and driveway.
The purpose of a gutter system is to control the flow of rain water AWAY from your home. The possibility of erosion damage becomes real when clogged gutters mishandle the flow of rain water. Water will begin to accumulate in your flower beds surrounding your home, ruining your landscaping and keeping water where it shouldn’t be – sitting stagnant around your foundation.
Clogged gutters also put you and your family at risk for health concerns, as clogged gutters can lead to the development of mold. These harmful micro-organisms may cause serious damage or evoke allergies in you and your family. If you can ensure that the gutters on your home are clog free, you’re also making a point to keep your family safe.
Water runoff will create pools of stagnant water that can attract mosquitoes and other wildlife.
Roof replacement and overall repair can easily cost thousands of dollars. Clogged or backed-up gutters filled with debris can allow rainwater to accumulate and cause your roof to rust and leak over time. Once this kind of damage occurs, the roof supports are put at risk, as wood may become weak and result in a complete roof collapse.
Soffit & Fascia Rot:
Your soffits and fascia are the closest part of your home to your gutters. When gutters become clogged, water will begin to collect in your gutters. With nowhere to go, the water will begin to eat away at your fascia and soffit, which could cause your gutters to pull away from your home and eventually fall. Once that happens you are looking at a very pricey renovation.