What Happens When You Don’t Clean Out Your Gutters?

guttersLet’s face it: nobody likes to clean their home’s gutters. But neglecting this important, yet unpleasant task can have some pretty nasty consequences.

1. Roof and Gutter Leaks

Although letting leaves and other debris build up in your gutters may not actually cause a leak, keep in mind that leaks are most often discovered during routine inspections (or after it’s too late and they’ve caused damage to your roof, ceiling, etc). Taking the time to clean out your home’s gutters means you can also take the time to inspect their condition. Small leaks that are discovered and repaired early usually do not cause major problems down the road. However, if you’re not making a point to perform this basic maintenance, these minor issues will likely go undiscovered until they become a big problem.

As for leaks in your roof, these can occur as a direct result of neglecting your gutters. When your gutter can’t maintain the water drainage from your roof, the excess water that doesn’t fall to the ground can accumulate along the roof, causing damage. Furthermore, when the temperature drops, the water that is trapped in the clogged gutters can freeze, causing more damage or allowing snow and ice to build up on the roof. This adds weight and moisture to the roof and can compromise its structural integrity and safety.

2. Basement Leaks

Since gutters drain toward the bottom exterior of the home, improperly cleaned or neglected gutters can cause excess water to collect around a home’s basement or crawlspace. This could become a serious issue if the water seeps into the building, as it could cause mildew, mold and costly water damage.

3. Wood Rot

Homes with a wood foundation are especially vulnerable to moisture damage from neglected gutters. If you fail to clean out your gutters, the excess water will most likely accumulate along the home’s exterior foundation, causing serious damage to the structure. Foundation problems are one of the most expensive home repair issues, so you definitely want to avoid them at all costs!

4. Foundation Cracks

Foundation cracks can occur when water is leaked into and absorbed by the home. This is a real possibility during the colder months, as freezing temperatures cause trapped moisture to turn to ice and expand. Keeping your gutters and downspouts clear will allow water to drain efficiently away from the home.

5. Pest Problems

Gutters that are filled with leaves, small branches and other debris may appear unsightly to us, but to bugs, birds and even small mammals, they can look very inviting. Certain insects are attracted to moisture and some are drawn to rotting wood and vegetation. Dirty gutters are usually full of both of those things, so don’t be surprised when you get a pest problem from neglecting your gutters! Also, keeping gutters clear will deter birds from nesting and squirrels from stashing their acorns in them.

If you are unable to clean your gutters due to physical limitations, time limitations or if you simply hate doing it, you should seriously consider hiring someone to do it for you. Many professional handyman, lawn care and yes, even home painting services, offer gutter cleaning. At Colour Solutions, we offer gutter cleaning services throughout the Wilmington, NC area at a reasonable, affordable cost. Feel free to give us a call today to learn more! (910) 686-3067