Let’s be real here, cleaning gutters is no one’s idea of a fun activity. It definitely isn’t on anyone’s favorite things to do around the house. The reality is that no one likes to spend their free time scraping debris and muck, consisting of god knows what, from their gutter system. Not to mention the whole climbing a ladder thing, which is not everyone’s cup of tea either.
But, if you aren’t aware of what happens if you don’t clean your gutters, you could be in for a world of trouble. Brace yourself for the messy and costly truth of what happens when you neglect your home’s gutters.
External Damages to Your Home
Depending on where you live, it only takes a season or two for the gutters to start becoming unkempt. The first thing that typically happens is the downspouts becoming clogged with leaves, twigs, and other debris. When this happens, it is merely the beginning of the painful chain of events that is slowly unfolding in the gutters.
After the downspouts are stuck-up with debris, two things happen: the rest of the gutters become caked with mud and debris, and the water flow becomes non-existent. At this point, the damage is about to unleash. When it does, it is in the form of flooding from the entire length of the uncleaned gutters; imagine waterfalls, along the entire length of your home.
Flooding gutters pour water over both sides and splash the sides of your home as well as whatever is beneath them. After a while, the water finds its way into every nook and cranny that it can, damaging siding, roofing, and facia on your home as well as the landscaping below.
Internal Damages to Your Home
If your gutters haven’t been cleaned and external damage is already happening, hold onto your seat because things are about to get a whole lot worse. When siding, facia, and insulation become warped, rotted, and waterlogged, there is only one more destination for the water that is wreaking this havoc to go: to the inside of your home.
When the water from your overflowing gutters reaches the interior of your home you will notice it. Maybe not right away, depending on the layout of your home and the materials that it is made of. But, you will definitely notice it when the leaks start dripping from the ceiling and mold begins bleeding through the walls, if you miss the first tell-tale signs.
If you are seeing signs of water damage inside, it is never too late to learn how to protect your home from water damage. That said, properly maintaining your gutters is on that list.
Your Gutters Become a Safety Hazard
Let’s pretend, for a moment, that water damage from your uncleaned gutters is never going to happen. It would be a dream come true for many homeowners, but, you are still not out of the woods in this case. In fact, far from it. There are still a couple of serious side-effects of improperly maintained gutters, like, say, the fact that they become a safety hazard hanging on a thread; or at least hanging on the edge of your roof.
A waterlogged gutter weighs a ridiculous amount more than an empty and well-cleaned gutter, or even a gutter loaded with mainly dry leaves. Heck, even a gutter filled to the brim with freshly fallen leaves in a rainstorm weighs less than one that’s got choked downspouts and is full of mud, water, and all sorts of organic matter.
When gutters reach this point, they are on the brink of destruction. One more snowy day, or a gust of wind from the wrong angle and, poof, that’s all she wrote. Down it will come, baby, carriage and all. This is a much bigger deal than just losing your gutters. Who knows what, or who, it may harm on the way down.
Eventually, you will need to replace your gutters. And then the whole awful process will begin again if you skimp on cleaning them, unless you approach things from a different angle. The first option, and the more expensive one, is hiring a gutter cleaning service to perform maintenance on your gutters once or twice per year.
The other solution is installing gutter guards. The best gutter guards are inexpensive, so to speak, and quick and easy to install. Plus, once paid for, you never have to shell out another penny, let alone a hundred bucks or more every six months for a pro gutter cleaner.