Yes, cleaning the gutters of your new home can be a pain, but it is important. Clean gutters aren’t merely a matter of aesthetics. Keeping the gutters clean protects the investment you have made in your home and the care you take to protect your health and your family’s health.
Your gutters are well above eye level. This fact may encourage an “out of sight, out of mind” situation. However, your home’s gutters, like other essential home maintenance tasks, shouldn’t be ignored or forgotten. Here’s why:
What’s at Stake?
Gutters are designed to collect water off the roof of your home and direct it away from your home’s foundation. If gutters clog no longer work properly, the result can damage your home. What can happen when you don’t clean the gutters?
Cleaning the Gutters to Reduce the Risk of Property Damage
- Fascia & Roof – The boards behind the gutter (the fascia) and the roof itself can be damaged by too-full gutters, which cause a weight strain on these parts of your home. Backed-up gutters can cause pooling of water on your roof or even roof collapse!
- The Gutter – Clogged gutters can freeze and expand, damaging the guttering system and downspouts. Leaves and other wet debris can cause gutters to sag and pull away from the fascia.
- Landscaping – Uncontrolled runoff from your roof can erode your landscaping and cause flooding in your yard.
- Your Foundation – If enough water pours into the ground around your home (instead of being carried away by a functioning, well-maintained gutter system), the land under and around your foundation can be destabilized. Your foundation can shift or crack, leading to major damage to your home.
- The Basement – If you have a basement, gutter problems can lead to flooding, which will damage or destroy any personal property stored there.
- Impact on Property Values and Curb Appeal – Saplings and greenery growing out of your gutters is unsightly and indicates an overall lack of regular maintenance on the home, which will impact your property values and your ability to sell your home.
Cleaning the Gutters to Keep Your Home (and Yourself) Healthy
- Unhealthy Air – Any place that gathers moisture, remains damp, or repeatedly becomes damp invites mold and mildew to grow. This may be outside in a leaf-packed gutter or inside your home in a basement, crawlspace, or another area. Gutters that don’t function can cause moisture in multiple areas of your home.
- Insects, Pests & Rodents – Standing water invites mosquitoes to turn your gutters into a breeding ground, and their offspring will bite you and your family all summer long. Rats, mice, and birds may nest in clogged gutters. Keeping them clean helps to eliminate these pests and any diseases they may be carrying.
How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?
Traditional wisdom dictates twice a year – once in the spring and again in the fall. If you live in an area with more trees, gutters may need to be cleaned more often. If you don’t want to clean them yourself, you can hire a professional. Need a recommendation? Ask your Realtor® for a vetted service provider.
However you decide to maintain your gutters, be sure to schedule it regularly to protect your home and your health.