Why Is Gutter Cleaning So Important? What Homeowners Need to Know
If you're like most homeowners or property owners, you're not thrilled by the notion of spending your weekend up on a dangerous ladder, scooping handfuls of gross, rotten muck out of your gutters. The dirty, time-consuming, difficult task of gutter cleaning is one of the most neglected household chores for that exact reason.
However, those same property owners often don't realize how critically important it is to keep gutters clean and functioning properly in order to avoid serious moisture damage throughout their entire home or business—and anyone who has ever been forced to deal with water damage mitigation will tell you that you should avoid it at all costs.
But why is keeping up with cleaning and repairs such a big deal? What happens if you just... don't? We'll answer those questions below, plus tell you the signs that your drainage system is in need of help from Mr. Handyman of Anne Arundel and North PG's affordable gutter cleaning service.
Why Do Rain Gutters Matter?
Wondering if a little trough attached to the side of your roof can really make much of a difference? It absolutely does. Gutters, which are also called eavestroughs, collect all the rainwater that falls on your roof and channels it safely into downspouts, away from your house where it can't do any harm. If that doesn't sound like much, you may be underestimating how much water we're really talking about here.
One inch of rain on a 1,000 square foot roof produces about 620 gallons of water. For comparison, an average bathtub holds around 60 to 80 gallons. Anne Arundel gets approximately 44 inches of rain per year—more than the national average. That means about 390 bathtubs full of water pour down on your house annually, or much more if you have a bigger roof. If you imagine the destruction that all that water can cause to your home, it becomes a lot more obvious why eavestroughs need to be kept in good condition so the water can flow freely.
What Happens If You Don't Clean Gutters?
When your clogged gutters are crammed full of dead leaves, dirt, animal nests, and other debris, or they're cracked, sagging, or broken in places, those 390 bathtubs full of water have nowhere to go and spill down the exterior of your home instead, causing a multitude of serious problems that all point back to the homeowner's natural enemy: moisture damage. From wood rot and mildew to cracking foundations and skyrocketing energy bills, there's nothing good about the gigantic, costly headache of water incursion.
Here are some unpleasant effects of moisture damage on your home, caused by overflowing, broken, dirty gutters:
- When your gutters are full, water can blow into soffit vents and expose your attic to wood rot, weakening support beams and causing severe structural damage.
- Water pools on your roof, eating away at the shingles and causing leaks and other roof issues.
- The siding on your home is designed to resist moisture, but it has its limits. Constant exposure will damage the siding and allow moisture to enter the interior of the wall where it can fester, causing rot, mold, and mildew.
- Window and door frames are usually made of wood, and are therefore susceptible to wood rot because the constant soaking from rain raises the moisture content of the timber and the rotten frames let even more water into the walls. It also creates cold drafts which lower the energy efficiency of your home and cost you big time on your energy bill by forcing your HVAC system to work harder, making it necessary to have your doors and windows repaired or replaced.
- When water pools around your foundation, the freeze and thaw cycle in winter causes the soil to constrict and can crack the concrete. It can also erode soil underneath the foundation, causing the whole house to sink.
Insect and Rodent Infestations
All that damage to your siding, windows, doors, and roof creates ways for pests such as insects and rodents to get into your home—and they're only too happy to take advantage of that situation. Once they find a way in, dozens of their nasty little friends will soon follow, creating further damage and possible health hazards for you and your family.
How Do You Know If Your Eavestroughs Need Cleaning and Repair?
When you suspect that your home needs gutter repair and cleaning, keep watch for these signs of damage:
- Water spilling over the edge of your troughs when it rains
- Birds flying to and from eavestroughs, or signs of rodents and insects near your roof
- Gutter hangers are coming loose, broken, or missing
- Rust or black gutter stripe stains (on or below the troughs)
- Visible plant growth in the eavestroughs
- Troughs sagging or pulling away from roofline
Is It a Good Idea to Install Gutter Guards?
In a word, yes. Guards shield the top of your eavestroughs, making it harder for them to fill up with leaves, garbage, and other debris that blows in. They don't completely remove the need for regular maintenance, but they do stop the troughs from filling up so fast and prevent them from getting strained and breaking as often (meaning they're a worthwhile investment). Mr. Handyman's pros, who are experts in gutter protection services, can install guards while handling your cleaning and repairs.
How Often Should Gutters Be Cleaned?
At least once per year (especially in autumn) is strongly advised, though twice per year in the spring and fall is even better. Spring cleaning gives your handyman a chance to take care of debris that has collected over the winter and repair any breaks or weak points caused by heavy snow melt as part of the gutter cleaning process.
Mr. Handyman is Your Local, Trusted Gutter Cleaning Company!
Ready to schedule your bi-annual gutter cleaning? You can rely on expert gutter services from Mr. Handyman of Anne Arundel and North PG. We adhere to the highest safety standards and always provide exceptional quality workmanship with outstanding customer service.Give us a call today or request service online to find out more about what we can do to protect your property and make your life easier!