Fall is a beautiful season. The cooler weather gives relief from the summer heat and the leaves beautifully update the outdoor color pallet from green to red, orange, yellow and of course, many hues in between. Fall is the beginning of the holidays and creates a family atmosphere of warmth and all things pumpkin spice. And while fall can certainly be a favorite season, with the aesthetics of the outdoors often come rain and wind. The combination of rain and leaves can wreak havoc on the gutters of your home. Gutters are a huge necessity for the protection of your home because their main purpose is to control the flow of rainwater protecting against potential damage to your roof, walls, foundation, and landscape. Gutters are essential and maintenance is imperative. If your gutters are neglected you may find yourself dealing with some harsh water damage or flooding. Here are some of the issues that can be caused by neglected, clogged gutters and drains:
Fall has its fair share of storms, high winds, and rain. Therefore the trees lose their leaves at an increased pace causing them to often land directly in or on your gutters. This results in clogging, meaning if you don’t pull out the leaves allowing the water to drain properly then the water has no place to go. Standing water anywhere is never a good thing and when it’s in your gutters it can actually cause soggy roof edges. The edge of your roof then becomes at risk and its underlying materials can become damaged. Eventually, the constant contact with the water will weaken materials, requiring costly replacements. When your roof is affected by water damage then it’s only a matter of time until it reaches your ceilings and eventually your walls. Simply setting up a ladder and pulling out loose leaves, could prevent a costly repair.
As mentioned before gutters are meant to pull water away from the home, but when there is an obstacle in the way of it doing its job rainwater will often spill over. The water spilling causes seepage into places that can’t withstand its effects. The overflowing water will begin to damage the exterior walls, windows, doors, and other, connected, structural aspects of your home. These areas of your house are not meant to come in contact with excessive water as rotting, warping, and structural weakening may occur.
Having a strong foundation is vital for a structurally sound home. However, neglecting your gutters can easily shake your homes’ foundation. When there is an overabundance of water and it’s not directed away from your house then the foundation of your home is at risk to leakage issues, shifting, cracking and in extreme cases… sinkage. Your gutters lead the water toward your downspouts which are meant to bring water to a safe place where it is absorbed into the ground or directed into a drainage system. Homes with a basement can be affected as the excessive water causes immense pressure against basement walls which could push inward and crack.
Damage Causing Slippery Surfaces
Fall may bring the rain and wetter weather, but winter comes shortly after so if you’ve neglected your gutters during the rainy season, winter may be unusually and exceedingly slippery. Water overflowing from gutters can fall onto walkways and driveways. When entryways are slippery it makes carrying in a handful of groceries a bit tricky. We are pretty sure no one wants their friends falling before even knocking on the door. Gutters left unattended can truly wreak havoc on a home and likely, a tailbone!
Maintaining Healthy Gutters
Now that you are aware of what neglected gutters can do to your home it’s best to clean debris from gutters at least twice a year, preferably after leaves have fallen and again in the spring. The best way to clean your gutters is to either call a professional or do it yourself by hand. It simply takes an extendable ladder, a small plastic scoop, a plastic tarp to protect your lawn, and a garden hose to flush out gutters and downspouts.
Fall may mean beautiful colors but it should also serve as a reminder to give your gutters
a little love and attention.