"Out of sight, out of mind?" When it comes to your rain gutters, this is not the motto you want to adopt. Leaving your gutters unattended for months, (or even worse, years), is like turning your back on a ticking time-bomb.
The problems that can ensure are serious.
Ideally, you should schedule a professional cleaning of your gutters at least twice a year--late fall and late spring, when leaves and blossoms are finished falling.
If you're not sure that rain gutter cleaning is that essential, here are 8 reasons it's vital. No matter what time of year you tackle it.
1. Prevent Roof Damage
First and foremost, keeping your rain gutters clean prevents roof damage. According to experts, one of the most costly home repairs, roof damage, is commonly caused by neglected gutters.
Roof damage caused by clogged gutters comes in all forms. Everything from weakened brackets to serious leaks, to gutters falling, can occur.
Do yourself, (and your wallet), a favor and avoid monumental home repairs by simply cleaning your gutters regularly. With the help of professionals, figuring out the cost to clean your gutters can be quite simple.
In the long run, the time and money you invest to clean regularly will be far less than getting a new roof.
2. Keep Unwanted Pests Out
Are you a fan of wasps? What about rats, mice, birds, bats, you name it?! Just about any nasty, pesky, pest, you can imagine can take up residence on your roof and in your gutters if you leave them too long.
You may think your normal pest control services are sufficient to keep critters away. But where you see gutters full of leaves, creepy critters see a cozy place to call home.
If this isn't enough to convince you that cleaning your gutters is worth the effort, just think about all the diseases carried by rodents. Mhmmm, ...now are you ready to break out that hose?
3. Save your Garden
If you've got a green thumb, you understand the importance of watering your plants. You also understand that over-watering them can be just as harmful as underwatering them.
When your gutters are blocked-up you run the risk of dumping buckets of water on your garden and vegetation below.
This can leave you with soggy roots and drowning plants. Once you've overwatered your garden or grass for too long, little can be done to save them. Best to simply protect them, to begin with.
You can start by controlling the amount of water they receive from above.
4. Protect Your Home's Foundation
This reason may surprise some people as you typically think of gutter problems only affecting the roof of your home.
Unfortunately, when too much water overflows from your gutters it can create soggy pools right up alongside your home's foundation.
These pools, in turn, can freeze. Freezing water in the crevices of your home's foundation expands causing potentially catastrophic damage.
5. Prevent Fascia Damage
What on earth is fascia? It's the board that runs right along the inside between your home and your gutters.
Leaving your gutters to gather debris and standing water can create mold, water-damage, and weakening of the fascia.
The fascia is an important component of the structure of your roof and gutters. Allow it to become damaged and you're looking at some expensive repairs and replacement.
6. Prevent Mold and Rotting
As mentioned, mold and rotting can occur in many different areas when gutters overflow or retain water. This is both dangerous to your health, and to the structural integrity of your home.
If left undetected, mold can become a silent threat to the health of both you and your family.
It can begin to grow as water from your gutters sits, dormant, alongside the siding of your roof. From there it can sneak into your home's airways causing you and your loved ones to breathe in potentially dangerous particles.
When rainwater can't escape through your gutters it seeps into the wood of your roof. When this happens you are left with wood rot.
Wood rot quickly deteriorates your roof. This can result in your roof caving in. Even if you're lucky and you catch the rotting before your entire roof is destroyed, the repairs are expensive.
7. Eliminate Ice Dams
Do you live in a wintery location where snow build-up happens on your roof? If so, your gutters may be susceptible to ice dams.
Ice dams happen when rain or snow gets trapped in your gutters (...because you haven't cleaned them). That water then freezes and expands inside the gutter.
This prevents even more water from flowing naturally off your roof. If your gutters become too heavy with this frozen water, they can come crashing down.
The ice can also block things up even more as twigs, leaves, and other debris gets stuck.
8. Greater Efficiency
Why do you have gutters anyway? Is it to provide a nice nesting place for spring robins? You better hope not.
Gutters exist for the sole purpose of draining water away from your home and roof. When you don't keep them clean, they can't perform their proper function.
Let those gutters live up to their potential! Cleaning them every spring and fall is a good place to start. However, any time you have a major winter storm, rainfall, or even heavy winds that can knock debris onto your roof, it's wise to check your gutters.
As obvious as it may be, the better care you take of your gutters, the better they will work for you.
Rain Gutter Cleaning: Just the Beginning
Rain gutter cleaning really isn't an option if you care anything about your home and investments. The more often you clean your gutters, the easier and less time-consuming the task will be each time.
If you take care of your house, it will take care of you. Keeping your exterior features in proper shape is just the beginning when it comes to home care.
For more home improvement and cleaning tips, browse the For the Home section of my blog.