Why Should I Clean My Gutters Before the Winter Comes?
Keeping your gutters clean is the most important step to avoiding unnecessary water damage to your home! Full gutters are, most often, the culprit for causing water damage to homes that we look at. Don’t let a simple task stand in the way between water damage and a healthy, happy home!
When it rains, the roof of an average home accumulates 60 gallons of water for every square foot. The same amount of rain is drained. Most roofs measure around 2,300 square feet.
When you do the math, that is about 1,380 gallons of water being shunted off for every inch of rain. That’s a serious amount of rainfall that your gutters catch. Without your gutters, your home’s structural integrity will be in jeopardy. Water will reach the very foundations of your home.
When that happens, expect the foundation to crack, turn, or shift. This also means extensive repairs that will cost you a fortune. Foundation repairs entail lifting your house using jacks. After repairing the damage, your home will be re-planted back down.
Though this may seem easy to visualize, there is the risk of your house sustaining structural problems caused by the lifting. These problems may manifest in your home’s walls. If left unaddressed, things can only go from bad to worse.
When your basement walls are damaged, your house’s structure automatically weakens. It opens up the possibility of your walls leaking. When leaks occur, water damage follows suit and comes in many different forms.
Some of the most common and severe water-related concerns include mold and mildew development. When this happens, you are putting your family’s health at risk.
When Should I Clean My Gutters?
When is the best time for you to clean your home’s gutters? Considering the value of your gutters and the importance of their function, cleaning them should be part of your regular home maintenance schedule. Yes, we know how burdensome going up the ladder and taking out the clutter from your gutters can be.
But it must be done.
So should you do it one Sunday afternoon or whenever you’re free? The answer involves a little bit of timing. A good guide to follow is when the seasons change, particularly when autumn shifts to winter. This is when all the leaves have fallen – and some of them have probably collected in your gutters.
Climb up the ladder and take a look at your gutters. Scoop out all the leaves and debris that have accumulated. Since you can no longer expect any more leaves to fall, it will be easier for you to take out everything without having to climb up again the next day. Take this time to examine the condition of your gutters. Check if there are any holes or cracks that need immediate repair.
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Integral Part of Gutters
Gutters ensure that water doesn’t come flowing right at the very foundations of your house. Instead of going straight to your lawn or garden beds, rainwater will be guided directly away to a safer spot by the gutters. Can you imagine what will happen if you don’t have any gutters? The soil around your home’s perimeter will erode in no time.
When this happens, you will notice water starting to pool. As the water continues to pour in, the pool will seep deep down to your home’s foundation. Though your home may have a drainage system in place, it is not enough to carry the massive amount of rainwater that continuously flows from your roof.
Winter Cleaning is the Solution
If leaves and other debris clog your gutters, you need to act on it decisively. But do so right before winter arrives. During this time, all leaves during autumn have all fallen and absorbed the water. If winter comes and you let the leaves as they are, the standing water will freeze.
In turn, you can expect more water to build up and freeze faster than you can act. Since frozen rain is heavy, any form of buildup will strain your gutters. In worse cases, the weight may be too much for the drains to accommodate, causing the latter to lose their alignment and sag.
When this happens, the performance of your gutters will be compromised. This may even lead to a complete gutter replacement that will cost you a fortune.