Rain gutters are an essential element of a home because they help protect it from the damaging force of moisture. Rainwater, snow, and moisture in the air can cause damage to a home over time. Neglecting gutters and downspouts can cause your home to deteriorate faster than necessary. It can lead to many repairs being needed around the home and frustration from dealing with consistent problems with your home. While there are many dangers of neglecting gutters and downspouts, we will go into detail about a few in this blog.
1- Lifting Shingles Or Other Roof Materials
Gutters are responsible for moving water away from your roof and your foundation. When your gutters are clogged, water can rise out of the gutter and seep underneath shingles or roof tiles. Once moisture gets underneath your roofing materials it can cause them to lift which will put your home at risk.
Lifting roof materials can cause additional issues, such as;
- Mold growth on roofing materials and inside your attic
- Wood rotting
- Increased risk of roof collapse
- Pest infestation
- Expensive roof repairs or replacement
2- Premature Landscape Erosion
High concentrations of water around your home’s foundation can cause the land to erode quickly. Overflow of water out of the top of the gutters can cause topsoil to erode and cause the foundation to slip. Not only can this cause foundation problems, but also floods your flowers, and trees, and causes them to die.
While keeping your home standing is the most important task, landscaping helps improve curb appeal. Redoing landscaping around your home can be costly and time-consuming. Cleaning your gutters and repairing them once they experience damage will save you time in the future.
3- Risk Of Fire
If you let debris build up in your gutters and downspouts, you run the risk of house fires. Dry leaves and twigs are the most common debris that fills your gutters and downspouts which are extremely flammable. Removing this small debris may not seem like a worthwhile task, but you significantly lower the risk of a house fire when cleaning out fall leaves and twigs from gutters around your home.
While some seasons have a higher risk of fire, your home is always susceptible to fire damage when flammable debris surrounds it. Neglecting gutters and downspouts may seem like a good idea at the time, but when your home and loved ones are at risk, gutter cleaning during the fall is always a worthwhile investment.
4- Lackluster Home Appearance
Not all reasons for gutter cleaning need to be functional maintenance, some can be cosmetic. Your home should look and feel appealing, so completing tasks that make the exterior of your home look new is worthwhile.
Gutters that are filled with leaves, bugs, tree branches, mildew, etc. will make your home look neglected. While this may not seem like a big deal when your life is busy when it comes to selling your home or having visitors, the exterior appearance can play a role in the process.
5- Higher Risk Of Ice Dams
While California homes don’t see a ton of snowfall if snow build-up does occur and your gutters are clogged, you could be experiencing ice dams. Ice dams can occur when snow starts to melt down your roof, but can not completely leave the roof before it freezes again. When your gutters don’t let moisture flow through, this water can sit near where your roof and gutters connect, refreeze, and expand, and cause damage to your roof or gutters.
Removing debris from gutters and downspouts will prevent ice from forming inside them and causing puncture or separation from the roof. Ice dams can cause gutter damage and will force you to replace gutters and downspouts before the spring season.
6- Damage To Siding Or Exterior Paint
Excess moisture can cause peeling paint or damage to your siding. Moisture often leads to mold or mildew growth on the sides of your home. Moisture can also cause your paint or siding to crack, change color, or cause unsightly striping down the exterior walls.
Repainting or repairing siding can be costly and time-consuming, but leaving them damaged can weaken your home. Your siding and proper exterior paint will limit the effect that exterior forces can have on your home.
7- Weak Gutters and Downspouts
Neglecting your gutters and leaving bacteria and dirt to build up over time will cause your gutters and downspouts to weaken. Weak gutters will cause you to experience more problems around your home and may even speed up the deterioration process of your roof or foundation.
While gutters are built to be fairly durable, they will weaken over time just like any other home material. Performing proper maintenance and cleaning is the best way to ensure that your home lasts for many years to come. Neglecting to take care of any part of your home will lead to damage, but gutters and downspouts are extremely important.