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    Feb 23
    by deanna - No Comments

    The Cost of Not Cleaning Your Gutters

    The presence of gutters in a building plays a vital role in your house. Since it does not need regular maintenance, most people tend to forget about them altogether. However, not taking care of your eavestrough from time to time is likely to bring severe damage that may compromise your roof, foundation, and general home structure. 

    As dull as it is to climb a ladder and remove the collected debris, dirt, and small trees that collect in your gutter over time, it is essential to carry out this process to secure your building. If you do not feel up to the task, then hiring a person will see you have clean gutters in no time. You can also schedule this as part of your maintenance to ensure your gutters are regularly checked. This article provides you a list of things that are likely to go wrong if your eavestrough is not maintained correctly.

    Roof damage

    Leaving your gutter guards full of debris and dirt is likely to cause roof damage. The gutter guards allow water to flow through, directing them away from your roof. If the gutters cannot allow water to flow through, it collects on the roof affecting the shingles it comes in contact with. 

    These shingles start to deteriorate faster than the rest making them weak and ineffective. The effect of this is that they collect water until they are saturated then allow the water into the deck that starts to leak after some time. The collected water will also affect the insulation system and weaken your roof, not only spreading damage but also making the roof too weak, leading to its collapse. The amount of money required to redo a ceiling and fix the damage is more than putting new eavestroughs or cleaning the existing ones.

    Weakened foundation 

    The main job of gutters is to direct water away from your home. When they are faulty, water cannot flow appropriately; thus, it spills to the house’s edges and slowly sips into the foundation. During cold weather, this water freezes, causing cracks and shifting of the foundation. 

    During winter, the damage caused is likely to form cracks through the foundation and may even see your house structure start shifting or slanting. The compromise of your foundation means your house is standing on shaky grounds and may end up collapsing. Once this is done, correcting this is an expensive and time-consuming affair.

    Ruined landscape 

    When your gutters are spoilt, water leaks into the landscape and stagnates. Excessive moisture on your landscape can drown your plants, causing them to die or wither away. It leaves you with an ugly looking landscape. Besides, the water can also wash out the healthy soil leading to soil erosion and carrying away the nutrients required by plants to nourish and be healthy. 

    Concrete and stone landscape may start chipping and become slippery or crack due to taking in so much water. Repairing such a landscape is costly and may take time compared to fitting new eavestroughs to channel the water away from your landscape.

    Basement flooding

    When the water has nowhere to go and stays stagnated, it starts oozing into your basement walls. If your basement is not waterproof, the continual buildup of water on its walls will likely leave it with an unpleasant smell or weaken the walls leading to cracks that threaten the house’s entire construction. 

    You may also start experiencing molds, freezing temperatures and dampness that does not go away. With time your basement may start leaking or even experience flooding. Basement flooding can affect your electrical fittings and disfigure the interior design of the place.

    Water infiltration through the fascia and soffits

    When there is debris on your gutters and no water passage, the water will tend to follow the easiest part through. The water will infiltrate and seep through your fascia, causing damage to your interior design. When water stays long enough and turns into ice, it adds more weight to the gutters that make them sink and start to sag. 

    It also makes the gutter peel away or making the drain fall off. Instead of dealing with putting in an entirely new gutter, work to ensure the water does not damage the fascia or weaken it to an extent it cannot hold the gutter in place.

    Molds

    The continual stagnating water and damp walls create a perfect environment for molds to breed and grow. Molds will find their way through the moist pores and chipping gutter and fascia to infiltrate your home. It is tough to remove mildew, especially from the damp building, as they keep recurring. 

    Molds are not only unsightly to your house, affecting the general outlook of your home, but they compromise your health and that of your loved ones. Therefore, it means you will have to spend money continually to get rid of them and more to take care of your health.

    Damaged and rotten gutters 

    The continual accumulation of dirt, debris and water can affect the gutters and lead to their malfunction. It will also affect the fascia, making it start rotting. When this begins to happen, it emits a foul smell. It may only take a few weeks to damage the entire gutter, and see you need a replacement. 

    It will also speed up the rotting process of the fascia, adding to the repair budget. Instead of spending so much on changing your gutter system, general maintenance will see your gutters serve you longer and efficiently. The rot can also spread to the roof, weakening the entire roof structure, and leading to leaks.

    Driveway issues 

    Gutters are used to drive water away from the driveway as stagnating water can cause severe damage to your driveway. When water stagnates in your driveway, it adds excess weight to it, making it slippery and dangerous. The water may freeze during cold weather, leading to cracks and shifting in your driveway, making it hazardous and shifty. The slippery condition caused by the water buildup also makes it very unsafe to drive through and may cause your vehicle to skid around, causing accidents.

    Damage to the external features of the house 

    The buildup of water around your house is likely to damage the exterior parts of your home. The more water gets in contact with your doors and window structures, the more they get weak and absorb the water. It leads to the weakening of the wood, which may start rotting. 

    It also affects the exterior walls leaving them aesthetically unappealing. The dampness in your walls also creates an environment for them to crack, not only affecting the general outlook of the house but posing a danger that may see your house collapse. The trim and siding will not only look ugly but may affect the house’s structural condition. Having these repairs done is too tasking and expensive.

    Electrical damage 

    The compromised structure of a house means the electrical systems are likely to be affected in the process. Suppose water keeps seeping into the home through the roof and walls where the electrical wires pass through, they are likely to damage these wires leading to electrical shocks. Rotten woodwork will also mean that the electrical cables insulated through them are exposed. 

    The trickle effect of this is extended damage to your appliances. A flawed electrical system may not only affect the electrical appliances in the house but, in some instances, may cause a fire leading to damage and loss of your property. Thus, to ensure you do not tamper with the hidden electrical works, ensure your gutters are cleaned to avoid water leakage.

    Paint removal 

    Since water buildup affects walls and leads to their cracking, it also affects the building’s paint. You start to experience patches on your walls and ceilings that are unsightly. The basement flooding may affect the painting done in these areas, meaning you must set aside money for repainting. Besides, the chipping on the exterior walls and the presence of mold affect the paint on the walls. All this adds many paintworks that can be avoided by emptying gutters appropriately.

    Damage to household appliances

    The seeping water through roofs, walls, and basements are likely to affect your household appliances and furniture. For example, if pests find their way into your house, they are likely to eat into your furniture and damage your electrical appliances. The presence of water in the walls may also cause irreversible damage to expensive appliances.

    Conclusion 

    Taking proper care of your gutters is essential to maintain the general well-being of the entire structure. As small as these gutters may be, they serve a crucial role in directing the water away from your house, helping you maintain the structure. Thus, to avoid spending too much money on repairs, it is essential to schedule gutter clean up once or twice a year, or every time you notice any buildup, take care of it immediately to save you the hustle of costly repairs.

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