Gutter maintenance is an important activity that every homeowner must undertake. Without proper maintenance of your gutters, you risk damaging the foundation of your home. In simpler words, waiting for gutter maintenance is like inviting trouble in, and it will come sooner than later. Thankfully, more and more people are prioritizing gutter maintenance. According to research, “the demand for gutter guards in value terms is expected to rise an average of 2.5% per year and reach $746 million by 2025.”
Suppose you’re on the fence about whether or not to engage in routine gutter maintenance and are constantly putting it on the backburner. In that case, you’re putting your family’s safety and your home’s longevity at risk. This blog will discuss why gutter inspection and maintenance should be every homeowner’s priority.
Why Are Gutters Important?
First things first, let’s understand why are gutters important:
- One, they help steer the water away from home. It can ultimately prevent basement flooding, mold growth, formation, lasting interior damage, and leaking roofs.
- They help protect your home’s doors, windows, and foundation from water seepage and penetration.
- It keeps the home looking clean and shiny, devoid of water stains and excessive wearing due to rain.
Leaves are the Biggest Culprits for Water Damage
Here’s a pro-tip that can save you from plenty of trouble later on – get a gutter inspection done once the fall season sets in. Fallen leaves and other forms of debris like twigs, bits, and pieces of shingle asphalt, and organic sludge typically cause wide-ranging problems. These problems can range from roof damage to home exterior damage. They end up crowding the gutter space and literally add a lot of weight to your home gutter system, making it more fragile and vulnerable.
Clogged Gutters are a Big Issue
Benjamin Franklin famously said: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This phrase holds true for gutter cleaning and maintenance. As mentioned earlier, the weight of trapped leaves and debris can cause your gutters to sag due to added pressure and weight. This adds strain to your home’s soffits and fascia, resulting in expensive repairs. Furthermore, it clogs your gutter system, ultimately making it useless. After all, a clogged gutter system will not divert rainwater away efficiently. As you can imagine, this can lead to a damaged home foundation and puddles of water on your porch or outdoor area.
Proactive Maintenance Helps Keep the System Up-and-Running
One of the biggest advantages of annual gutter maintenance and inspection is that it allows you to understand when it might be time to replace your gutters entirely. In our experience, gutter systems generally last for about twenty years (give or take) if you engage in regular maintenance year-on-year. Without maintenance, this time can be significantly less.
Gutter Maintenance Throws Light on the Key Problem Areas
Ask any seasoned expert, and they’ll tell you to get your gutters inspected while it rains. How does this help? Well, for starters, it allows you to understand if there are any leaks at the seams or holes in the body of the gutter. If the gutters are constantly leaking, it might be a financially wiser decision to replace the leaking gutter section (as opposed to pouring down money to repair it).
As a rule of thumb, remember that a healthy and clean gutter should never overflow unless you’re experiencing extreme rain. If you experience frequent heavy rains, consider installing additional downspouts.
Apart from the factors mentioned above, keeping your gutters squeaky clean can help:
- Prevent serious issues later
- Minimize the risk of a transfer fire from airborne embers in extremely windy conditions
- Inspect and repair areas that are more prone to wear-and-tear
Expert-approved Tops Tips for A+ Gutter Maintenance and Inspection:
- Always be on the lookout for gutter damage and blockages; a keen eye for detail goes a long way in preventing gutter cleaning bills that often run into thousands of dollars.
- Ideally, engage in gutter cleaning and maintenance at least twice annually–once in the fall and once in the spring.
- To remove smaller forms of debris such as leaves, twigs, and organic sludge, you can use a garden trowel or spatula along the length of the gutter. Alternatively, you can scoop it out and drop it in a five-gallon bucket if you’re worried about dumping compost on your beautiful landscaping.
- For downspout blockages, you can use a plumber’s snake to unclog effortlessly. Then, use a high-pressure water hose to get rid of any remaining residue.
- If a lot of foliage and trees surround your home, keep an eye out for gutter mold growth and mildew formation. You can use a diluted bleach solution, elbow grease, and a scrub brush to get the job done in minutes.
There you go. If you notice rusty areas within your gutter, you might need to replace them altogether. In other instances, you might simply need to tighten the bracket or reposition it, if the damage is not severe. Whatever the scenario, it is best to seek the help of experts and understand how to go about your gutter maintenance journey. If you have experience, tools, and time, you can opt to clean the gutters yourself. Otherwise, you might be putting your health at risk. After all, climbing ladders is no small joke, and a small injury can have a life-long effect.
In summary, without regular gutter maintenance and inspection, you will inevitably face some or all of these issues as time goes by. Our advice? Engage in regular gutter cleaning to ensure a healthy gutter system that keeps your home safe and clean. Looking for a professional roofing contractor? Get in touch with the experts at Matera Roofing. They understand your roofing needs better than anyone in the Tampa Bay Area.