The gutters are one of the most critical components of a roofing system as they play a significant role in protecting the home from water damage. They collect and guide rainwater off the roof and straight down the drain, diverting the water from the home’s foundation.
As rain gutters protect a building’s roof, foundation, landscape, and help in water management, it is vital for homeowners to conduct regular preventive maintenance and cleaning to improve the gutters’ durability and longevity. It would also prevent the gutters from getting clogged, particularly during the Fall season, where there is a higher chance of clogging due to leaves falling from the trees.
If leaves, branches, dirt, and other debris are not removed from the gutters, they could build up and block the pathway of rainwater, which may cause water to overflow and cause internal and external damage to different areas of the home.
Here are some home issues that can be prevented if gutters are regularly maintained and cleaned:
- Fascia, soffit, and gutter damage
The fascia is the horizontal board attached to the edge of the roof, and it is the roof component where the gutters are connected. The soffit is the board connecting the fascia board to the building structure’s wall stud. The two roofing components prevent structural damage and moisture build-up and keep pests from entering a home.
It is essential to clean rain gutters as clogged gutters can cause water to overflow and seep into the fascia and soffit boards. However, the two panels are not the only components affected by the clogging. The gutter itself is also bound to get damaged as it carries both the weight of debris and water. The heavy weight can cause the gutter to detach from the home’s side, leaving an open area for water to seep in.
- Roof leakage and rotting
Debris clogging the gutters prevents water from draining into the downspouts and flowing straight down the drain. Moisture will build up in the roof and attic when water stays accumulated in the gutter. It can contribute to the rotting of wooden roofing materials, which can be detrimental to the entire house structure. Water intrusion can lead to the deterioration of rafters, ceiling joists, wall framing, and ceiling boards, which are not only expensive to repair but can also present serious safety risk to the household.
- Foundation cracks
One of the main functions of the gutters is to direct rainwater away from the home’s foundation. If the rain gutters are clogged, water will overflow and cause the soil around the house to destabilize, causing the foundation to shift, affecting its durability.
However, proper installation, maintenance, and cleaning of gutters and downspouts outside the home can ensure that water will be directed away from the house. It will ensure that the rainwater will not saturate the house’s wood and concrete foundation.
- Destruction of garden beds and landscape
Many homeowners invest time, effort, and money into their landscaping to improve the beauty of their home. However, that effort may be wasted if the overflowing water from clogged gutters ruins their gardens.
Water overflowing from clogged gutters can spill off in random places, including the garden beds. It can drown plants and flowers and cause the soil to erode. Therefore, it is essential to have the gutters cleaned to protect garden beds from overflowing water.
- Flooded basement
Aside from broken pipes, overflowing gutters can also cause basement flooding. When water overflows from the rain gutters, it tends to run down on the home’s siding and eventually seep into the basement. Flooded basements do not only cause damage to household items, but also cause health issues as the moisture from flooding will help mold and mildew thrive in the room.
To avoid flooding of the basement, homeowners have to clean and maintain their rain gutters to ensure that they are not clogged with debris, which can cause water to overflow during heavy rains.
- Nesting of pests or animals in the gutter
Clogged gutters can become a breeding ground for rats, critters, mosquitos, and other insects. Birds also love nesting in the gutters, taking advantage of the clogged sticks and leaves. Pests making a home in the gutters can do significant damage to the downspouts and even bring harmful diseases to people living inside the house.
Homeowners should regularly clean the gutters to avoid pests breeding and multiplying in the gutter and avoid the diseases that come with them.
Regularly cleaning the gutter system is fundamental in maintaining the whole home structure. It ensures that water is redirected away from the house and avoids debris build-up. Besides diverting rainwater away from the home’s structure, the gutter also provides the landscape, foundation, and roof protection from damage.
Homeowners who want to keep their gutters and downspouts clear of debris have to clean these twice a year, ideally during or at the end of autumn, after nearby trees have shed their leaves and in the spring time when trees shed more debris.
Unfortunately, many homeowners take their gutters for granted, and not all do regular cleaning and conduct preventive maintenance. Cleaning the rain gutters avoids clogging and overflowing water, damage to different house sections, and expensive home repair costs. It can also extend the lifespan of the gutters and the whole roofing structure.
Gutter cleaning and maintenance should be done carefully and regularly. Hiring an ethical and reliable professional roofing company can ensure quality roofing maintenance, cleaning, and repairs. Long Island Roofing and Chimney is an experienced roofing and chimney contractor on Long Island. Their roofing professionals can handle roof repairs and replacements and resolve other issues with the house’s structure.
Contact Long Island Roofing and Chimney today at 631-205-6177 (Suffolk County), 516-605-6108 (Nassau County), or click here to request a quote.