There are probably no two words in the English language less sexy than the words ‘gutter cleaning.’ But – sexy or not – it must be done. Your gutters are part of a system that helps move water and debris away from your roof and home. They help protect your home from damage by making sure water doesn’t settle and cause mold and decay.
Roof gutters are usually made up of a series of interconnected troughs. They help channel water away from the home and deposit it at a safe distance away from the home’s foundation.
However, a broken or clogged gutter can result in backed up, stagnant water that can attract unwanted animals and insects and cause water damage to your home. It can ruin your home inside and out by allowing water to your walls.
Let’s take a closer look at all the reasons why you absolutely can’t ignore your gutters as the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler. Learn all about it in this guide to the importance of gutter cleaning before winter.
Gutters clogged with fallen autumn leaves can create standing water and standing water can invite all kinds of unwanted pests – like mosquitoes. Mosquitoes love to use standing water as places to lay their eggs and that can lead to an even bigger problem: West Nile Virus. The West Nile Virus is an illness spread through the bites of mosquitoes. Symptoms can range from fever, headache and body aches to muscle weakness, vision loss and even paralysis. Some people have died from the virus, while others develop no symptoms at all. The Centers for Disease control recommend that homeowners make sure to clean out their rain gutters to help prevent the spread of West Nile Virus in their communities.
Water damage can cause major problems in your home. It can lead to mold and mildew and it can weaken your home’s foundation and walls. Consumer reports say that in wet regions, leader pipes should extend at least five feet from the home. “Check the entire gutter system seasonally for proper pitch and for clogs, corrosion, broken fasteners, and separation between connections and where gutters meet the fascia board,” the group advises.
Your gutters are part of a system that helps move water and debris away from your roof and home
An Expert’s Eye
Although there is no rule that says you must us a professional to inspect your gutters, there are a lot of benefits to doing just that. If you don’t feel comfortable climbing up on a ladder and working far off the ground – you don’t have to. Also, a professional would likely spot things with his or her expert eye that you could miss. Water damage can be sneaky – something that looks like a small problem could actually extend deep and create a much larger problem. Also, by having your gutters professionally inspected, you can have whatever problems that are uncovered fixed that much faster because the pro is already there and involved with the project.
Better Safe than Sorry
It’s better to have you gutters inspected during the relatively mild days of autumn than during the winter when it’s cold and potentially icy. And you definitely don’t want to wait and have to call in a professional in the midst of an emergency! Also, some gutter professionals might offer winterization specials as a way of encouraging you to get your gutters checked in the fall.
Get your gutters inspected early and often. It’s likely not the most glamorous thing you’ve ever done, but you’ll be so happy you did.