The Importance of Cleaning Your Gutters

Clogged gutters may cause all kinds of issues with your home. If your gutters become clogged with debris, like leaves and twigs, the water that builds up within the gutter will not be able to escape, which can leave water pouring into the roof and walls of your house. Here are some gutter issues to avoid.

Water Damage

Properly functioning gutters and downspouts direct water away from the structure of your home, says the Insurance Information Institute (III). But clogged gutters and downspouts may potentially cause water to collect around your foundation and, as a result, get into your basement.

Loosened Gutters

According to BobVila.com, the weight of water, twigs and other debris may help loosen gutters and cause them to pull away from their attachments. This may lead to damage to your siding or trim.

Ice Dams

If you live in an area where freezing temperatures are a common occurrence during winter, your clogged gutters may cause ice dams. An ice dam is when water flows over the edges of a clogged gutter and then freezes, potentially forcing water into your home. Ice dams can also become so heavy they may rip the gutter right off your home, resulting in costly repair bills, says BobVila.com.

Vermin

Clogged, damp gutters may also be an inviting home to carpenter ants, mosquitoes and even rodents, according to the National Pest Management Association. And, if these pests are living in your gutters, there is a chance they might make their way into your home.

How Often Should You Clean Gutters?

You should clean your gutters at least twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. It may also be a good idea to periodically check them for debris during the year.

However, if you live in a region that includes any of the following, consider these tips:

Desert

If you live in a hot, dry desert, or in an area without any foliage or plants near your home, you may only need to clean your gutters once a year.

Woods

If your house is surrounded by trees, your gutters may need cleaning three to four times a year.

Snow and Ice

If you have snow on your roof and notice ice dams, it may be too slippery for you to attempt to remove ice dams yourself. It is a good idea to contact a professional who can help.



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