A gutter system is essential for any home in an area that receives rain. Properly functioning gutters help move water away from your home to safe drainage areas, but if something is amiss with your gutter system, the consequences can be devastating.
Keep reading to understand five ways that failing gutters could be the root of a house’s problems.
Water cannot move freely through clogged gutters, meaning that instead of running through gutters to appropriate drainage areas, it will soak into the ground directly surrounding your home. As the ground around your home becomes saturated with water, water will begin to seep into your basement.
Water damage is one of the most expensive kinds of home damage to address. If not thoroughly dried, mold and mildew can begin to form in your walls and flooring. Building materials can degrade and falter, leading to costly repairs.
If you don’t clear leaves and needles out of your gutters in the fall, you could find yourself at risk of ice dams all winter. Ice dams form on homes’ eaves in the winter when water created by melting snow is unable to drain and freezes on the gutters. As the dams melt, water can leak into a house, compromising insulation, staining walls, and creating an environment for mold and mildew. If ice dams become particularly heavy, they might even rip the gutters and part of the roof off your house.
Backups in your gutters can cause water to pool on your roof rather than draining down to the ground. Over time, these pools can damage shingles and the surface underneath. Water will leak through the roof into the rest of your home, damaging ceilings, floors, and anything else it comes into contact with.
When gutters aren’t carrying water away to designated drainage areas, water will flow off your roof and land wherever it can reach. In addition to structural damage to your home, this can lead to soil erosion and trenching that can ruin any landscaping work you’ve had done. Rogue water can carry away your flower beds and drown your plants.
While water-based damage is the most obvious consequence of blocked gutters, it’s not the only one. When gutters become filled with leaves, twigs, and other debris that is not cleared, that debris can dry out and turn your gutter system into a tinderbox waiting for a match. Gutter fires can be difficult to detect in time to stop them from spreading, and they can spread very quickly around your whole home. In addition to fires caused by debris in gutters, water entering a home due to blocked gutters can trigger electrical fires.
While it may seem like a small task, keeping your gutters clear has a major impact on the safety of your home. Gutter maintenance should never be overlooked but isn’t always easy or safe to perform yourself. Contact your local gutter care professionals for cleaning services or to discuss gutter guards to keep debris from entering in the first place.