What Happens When You Don’t Regularly Clean Your Gutters?

Do you plan on inspecting the outside of your home before the weather is too cold to bear? In the fall, it is important to prepare your home and yard for upcoming, below-freezing temperatures. This preparation should definitely include checking and cleaning your gutters.

Gutters are an essential part of your roofing system, because they are designed to protect your home from water damage. Cleaning your gutters is an easy project to forget about, especially when they don’t appear to be significantly dirty or clogged from the ground. That does not mean that they do not require yearly maintenance. The best gutter maintenance is regular maintenance!

The following are common problems that occur when you neglect your gutters:

1. Leaking
Gutter Leaking
This can occur even if your gutters are clean, which is why checking your gutters is equally as important as cleaning. An unfixed gutter leak can cause damage to your home. If the leak causes mold and rotting, it is possible that the gutter will give way and fall off of your roof.
Roof Leaking
Your roof has the potential to leak when your gutters aren’t doing their job. If you gutter isn’t draining the water from the top of your roof, this water will accumulate and cause structural fatigue.
Basement Leaking
Gutters drain toward the bottom exterior of your home, but if they are not working properly or aren’t cleaned, water can collect and leak into your basement. If it does, your home runs the risk of gas leaks, electrical shock, and pollutants.

2. Insect Infestation
Bugs are usually drawn toward moisture. If your gutters are not properly maintained and have constant water buildup, bugs will stick around. A gutter system that is not maintained will cause an infestation of critters like carpenter ants, roaches, earwigs, mosquitoes or even termites.

3. Foundation Rotting and Cracking
If your gutters aren’t draining water away from your home, the foundation of your home is at risk of water saturation. Some homes’ foundation are made of treated wood, while other foundations consist of stone or reinforced concrete. If wood foundation gets wet, it will rot and become weak. If stone or concrete absorbs water, cracking will occur when temperatures drop. This will eventually lead to mold in your home.

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