Get Your Mind In the Gutter

Let’s talk about gutters.  It’s so easy to forget about them.  You rarely, if ever, see inside them because they’re above you and not a concern.  The only time you might notice them is if it is raining and you happen to look up and see the water overflowing.

While we may not notice it we need to make sure we maintain our gutters.  This is especially important this time of year as the leaves fall from the trees and our gutters are more likely to be clogged.  Here are three reasons you need to keep your gutters clean.

Clogged Gutters can Damage Fascia and Soffits
When gutters clog water that flows off the roof cannot go down the downspout properly.  As a result water overflows the gutters.  But, the overflow does just happen over the front.  As a professional home inspector, it is not unusual for me to see the fascia behind the gutter and the soffit beneath it damaged because water has overflowed the gutters and absorbed into these areas.  Keeping the gutters clean and allowing the water to flow out of the downspouts will help to protect your fascia and soffits.

Clogged Gutters Can Harm Your Foundation
As water overflows your gutters it lands on the soil near your foundation.  If your soil’s grading is poor then all of that water flows toward your foundation. If your soil’s grading is not poor it will deteriorate as all of this water lands on it and compresses the soil creating negative grade.  As a result, this negative grading has the potential of harming your foundation as moisture flows towards it.  If this condition is not remedied moisture could enter the structure and/or it could cause damage to the foundation.  Such damage could result in expensive repairs.  Gutter maintenance can help prevent foundation damage.

Clogged Gutters Can Cause Ice Damming
Ice damming occurs when snow falls on the roof and the snow against the roof melts from the warmth inside the home while the outside is still solid from the cold.  Water eventually may back up into the attic area leaving staining in attic and even on interior ceiling. When gutters are clogged the water cannot flow out the gutters and downspouts, thus making it more likely to cause ice damming as the water can seep in under the shingles and into the roof decking and attic area because of the backup.

These three issues can cause some significant repair costs and they can easily be avoided with proper gutter maintenance.  Home Partners recommends you have your gutters cleaned every fall after the leaves fall.  Extreme caution should be taken if trying to clean the gutters yourself.  There are many companies that provide gutter cleaning services.  Find some of those companies with quality reviews and give them a call.