You probably don’t spend much time thinking about your gutters. At least, not until something goes wrong with them. It’s easy to forget to clean your gutters, but that is a big mistake for a homeowner to make. Cleaning your gutters is one of the easiest things you can do to prevent water from damaging your home from roof to foundation.
Dirty rain gutters can lead to your roof becoming damaged. This happens when dirt, bits of roof, leaves, sticks, and other debris falls into the gutter, eventually blocking the flow of water. This causes water to back up and can leave it to soak into your roof. Given time, your roof will start to grow mold, which weakens it and increases the chance of it leaking water into the rest of your house. Of course, if water isn’t spilling over the gutter, it can be hard to tell if water is backed up, so keep an eye out for signs of water damage on your roof.
As water backs up in a clogged gutter, it eventually overflows and spills out. Instead of flowing through the gutter and down the spout, it spills over the sides, down your roof, and onto the ground soil right where your home’s foundation is. Water seeping into your ground soil can result in various kinds of damage to your foundation. If a lot of water is dumped onto the soil all at once, it will likely take longer for it to drain away. If that water is retained by the soil, the problem becomes exacerbated, and the speed at which damage takes place accelerates.
How to Clean Gutters
All that damage caused by dirty, clogged rain gutters can be avoided by cleaning them properly. You don’t need to clean them that often – twice a year will do just fine. If you’re comfortable on a roof, feel free to grab a leaf blower and climb up. You can use the leaf blower to blow out the debris, eliminating the need to remove it by hand. If you aren’t, not to worry. Start by putting on your safety goggles and gloves. Begin near a downspout and clear the strainer. Remove large debris by hand, or use a trowel if you need a little extra help. Once the debris has been cleared, rinse out the gutter, identifying any leaks. Be sure to seal those up before you call it a day. Whatever cleaning method you choose, make sure you follow proper ladder safety protocol at all times.
Water damage can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. There isn’t anywhere water can’t reach, given enough time and enough of it. One of the simplest things you can do as a homeowner to prevent water damage is to clean your gutters regularly. This will help prevent water damage to your roof, foundation, and everything in between.
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