While gutters may not seem like a home maintenance priority compared to your roof, windows, or other larger investments, your gutters serve a critical purpose: Protecting your roof, walls, foundation and landscaping.
If you haven’t spent much time thinking about, let alone working on, your gutters, you’re not alone. But, it’s not too late to start taking better care of your gutters and protecting your home. Here are six important reasons to get started:
1. Clogged gutters can cause water to overflow on your roof.
One of the most common problems with gutters on your home comes from clogs. Leaves, branches and other debris can easily land in and clog your cutters, impeding the flow of water. That water has to go somewhere, and it often ends up flowing onto your roof.
This extra water puts an extra weight burden on your roof, and increases your likelihood of water leaking into your home. Expensive roof repairs (or even replacement) as well as repairs inside your home can all stem from poorly maintained gutters. Gutter covers are an affordable option for keeping debris out and allowing water to flow freely through your gutters. Check your local hardware store for the best options.
2. Poorly-maintained gutters can harbor bugs, rodents and other pests.
No one wants uninvited guests in their homes. This is especially true for bees, wasps, rodents, spiders and any other creepy crawlers.. Untended gutters can serve as an unofficial welcome mat for invaders, who thrive in moist, dark, debris-ridden environments.
Unfortunately, the next stop for these invaders after your gutters is often...your home. You can see why it’s extra important to keep them away from your gutters in the first place!
3. Your gutters will eventually need repairs or replacement.
Over time, poorly-maintained gutters will develop holes or cracks, leading to costly repairs (at best) or even replacement (at worst). Depending on the size of your home, new gutters can cost several thousand dollars (not including the cost to repair or replace parts of your home damaged by untended gutters).
4. You may end up with water in your home.
Many of these six reasons work together and overlap. That’s because your gutters really do impact many aspects of your home, and a single issue can quickly turn into multiple issues.
From water seeping in through the attic to pools of water in your basement, untended gutters can bring water into many areas of your home. Of course, water in your home has potential health ramifications due to mold, but can also cause more openings for those bugs and other invaders mentioned above to sneak inside.
In fact, one specific type of water damage is so important, it is discussed separately in the next bullet.
5. Foundation damage.
The foundation of your home holds it above ground, and protects it from moisture and cold. Your foundation also resists the natural movement of the earth surrounding your home. These are critical functions that, when your foundation is damaged, can compromise the safety and integrity of your home.
Foundation damage can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 or more, and can begin directly from water damage caused by poorly-maintained gutters.
6. Flooded lawn and landscaping.
Remember, the water still has to go somewhere. If your gutters are clogged or damaged, the water will sometimes go up to the roof. Other times, it will overflow into your lawn and landscaping. Depending on the extent of the water, this flooding can ruin flower beds and other landscaping, and make it impossible to mow your lawn. And good luck keeping your house clean as your kids track in dirt from the muddy yard.
Put simply, it can be an absolute mess.
Spending a few minutes now can save you thousands on your gutters.
Regular maintenance and checkups on your gutters can help prevent these costly and stressful issues from affecting your home. Need new gutters? Check out our guide to help you make the best choice for your home. If you’re nervous that your gutters have caused roof damage, give us a call for your free roof inspection.