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Not Listening to Your Gutters Can Damage Your Home

Cleaning out the gutters every few months can feel like a hassle, which causes many homeowners to put it off. While some rightfully avoid climbing onto the roof themselves because of the danger, they fail to have a professional out to get the job done. One way or another, the gutters need regular cleaning and inspection. Without this, the gutters can collapse, fall off the house, and ultimately cause water damage to the home.

Clogged Gutters - Nashville TN - guttermantn.comOne of the ways homeowners come to recognize the clogged condition of their neglected gutters is by discovering water in the basement. When water cannot flow through the gutters and away from the house through the downspouts, it has little choice but to wash over the sides of the gutters. In turn, the water washes down the side of the house and pools at the foundation. Inevitably, the water finds its way through the concrete, steadily eroding the foundation structure. This may start out as a damp or flooded basement, but it can evolve into cracked basement walls, an unsteady foundation and even a collapsed home. Such a tremendous risk just to avoid having the gutters cleaned is not worth it.

Another form of water damage to the home occurs when the wood structures near the gutters begin to rot from the constant water exposure. The fascia boards, generally made of wood, secure the gutters to the home. As the blocked water spills out of the gutters, it first washes over the fascia boards. After enough constant saturation, the boards will rot and fall off the house, taking the gutters with them. Here, a simple gutter cleaning turned into a complete gutter system replacement. For homes with wood siding, the risk of wood rot from clogged gutters increases. The constant wash of water down the side of the house from overflowing gutters can turn into rotten siding that needs to be replaced.

Homeowners who fail to have the gutters cleaned can also run into the problem of destroyed landscape. When the water has no option but to spill out of the gutters and pool at the base of the house, any flowers, shrubs or small trees planted there must try to survive the onslaught of water. Generally, this oversaturation kills the plants, which can amount to a lot of money lost in ruined landscaping.

Ice dams can also cause problems, especially in the winter months. Any water in the gutters freezes, leading to ice dams that cause water to sit pooled on the roof. Water on the roof can leak beneath the shingles and damage the interior of the home. This type of water damage can create enormous repair expenses, including replacement of shingles, insulation, dry wall, flooring and damaged personal belongings.

While putting off having the gutters cleaned feels easier in the moment, imagine what may happen to your home in just a few months of neglect. Make it easy on you, your wallet and your home by contacting the Gutterman of TN to schedule a gutter cleaning today.

When Should the Gutters be Cleaned?

With the arrival of November, nearly half of fall has already passed. Daylight Savings marks the midway point to winter, meaning the cold weather is just around the corner. Seeing as fall has been steadily progressing over the past several weeks, many trees have started to lose their leaves, if they have not lost most or all of them already. For the leaves no longer stuck on the trees but also not on the ground, you are likely to find many of them resting contentedly in your gutters.

Cleaning the Gutters - Nashville TN - GuttermanTN.com

If your gutters are clogged with leaves, the time to have them cleaned was probably at least a few weeks ago. Experts generally agree that gutters should be cleaned twice per year – right around now, during the fall, and just before spring. The logic behind cleaning them in the fall is to eliminate any excess weight on the gutters created by wet leaves and other debris rotting there. This allows the increased precipitation during the winter to flow freely through the gutters. On the other hand, cleaning just before spring ensures the path through the gutter system is clear before the heavy onslaught of rain.

Waiting too long to clean the gutters or not cleaning them at all can have serious consequences down the road. For one, clogged gutters usually contain blocked water inside all the extra gunk sitting there, and water is very heavy. This undue stress on the gutters can significantly shorten their lifespan. The weight will slowly pull the gutters away from the house and even down to the ground, rendering them completely useless. Regularly cleaning gutters is much more affordable than regularly replacing them.

Another result of leaving gutters clogged is water damage to your home. When the water cannot flow through the gutters to the drain spout, it spills over the edge of the gutters and washes down the side of the house. As it pools near the foundation, the water seeps into the concrete basement or slab, which can cause flooding, mildew and cracking. In addition, the walls of the house may draw the water up into the wooden support beams, creating expensive water damage. Even your roof can suffer water damage if the water is forced to sit on the roof because it cannot run through the blocked gutters.

If you have not had your gutters cleaned since the leaves started to fall this season, now is the time to do so. Have your gutters cleaned by a professional who can do the work safely and spot any damage that should be repaired before it causes expensive problems. If you live in the Nashville area, contact The Gutterman of TN for a professional consultation.