Gutters are one of the most crucial elements of your home. They direct water away from your home, preventing expensive damage like cracks in the foundation and dry rot. That being said, we all know that we need to have our gutters cleaned and inspected two to four times a year. Sometimes, life gets in the way and we forget. We are only human, after all.
If you don’t have a service plan that automatically ensures your gutters will be taken care of during peak seasons, here are a few signs you can look for to know when it is time (or past time) to clean your gutter system.
Staining and Mildew
Any signs of staining or mildew could be a sign of standing water in your gutter system. Water that isn’t flowing through your system could end up causing costly damage to the fascia boards behind the gutters, the shingles on the roof or the foundation at the base of your home.
Leaves and Debris
Accumulation of leaves and other random debris is normal for gutters. From rains to winds, debris will find a way into your gutter system. This is one of the main reasons it is necessary to have your gutters cleaned multiple times per year. Leaves and debris can not only clog your gutters, they can also attract pests as well as allow for plant growth.
Squirrels, mice, frogs and other small creatures can take up residence in your gutter system if the conditions are cozy enough. Those pesky critters can cause damage to and attract larger, scarier animals, like snakes or feral cats. If you see any signs of animals in or around your gutters, you should contact a gutter cleaning professional to make your system less hospitable to these intruders.
If there is green plant life sprouting from your gutter system, you have gone well past the time to get your gutters cleaned. For plants to grow, there has to be a layer of leaves, dirt and debris to provide root protection. Dirt washes from your roof, put there by winds, into your gutters. The seeds are blown into the existing debris and dirt, and growth occurs. Plant growth is one of the most glaring signs that your gutters need a cleaning.
Leaves, debris and water can be heavy. This will lead to sagging or detached gutters. That could lead to roof and foundation damage. It’s a never-ending cycle of damage. If you notice pulling, sagging or complete detachment, your gutters might need more than a cleaning. Repairs or even complete replacement might be necessary, depending on the extent of damage.
If you can’t remember the last time you had your gutters cleaned, you could be in serious need of a cleaning as well as an inspection. Like we mentioned earlier, you need to have your gutter system cleaned two to four times a year to ensure your gutters are protecting your home properly.
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