Is Gutter Cleaning Really Necessary? 🏠
Updated: Oct 6, 2021
One of the first questions I receive from new homeowners is: Gutter Cleaning, is it really necessary to do every year? 🏠 And in short, yes, yes it is.
The purpose of your home's gutter system is to carry water away from the building to a purposeful drainage area. When gutters are not cleaned, dirt and debris will build up in the gutter channel and water will overflow onto the home and the foundation. 🌳
If you're ready for the long answer, read on. Here are 6 BIG reasons that I have found as a home services professional to keep those gutter systems properly intact:
1. Foundation Damage
If gutters are not cleaned and water overflows from the gutters, it will fall along the foundation of your home. Repeated water exposure can soften the soil under and around which will lead to cracks in the foundation. Though not always noticeable right away, heaving and cracking in the foundation of your home can be a major issue down the line.
2. Rotted Wood 🌿
Furthermore, if gutters are clogged the overflowing water can get trapped between the gutter and home after rain. This moisture will cause rot in the wood fascia and soffit boards (the wood near where the gutters are attached). This wood rot can spread to adjacent areas, such as the attic. Holes in wood, dependent where they are, also provides an entry point for rodents. One sign to watch out for is the gutters starting to sag as a result of the heavy debris weighing down or the actual fasteners coming loose.
3. Roof Leaks
If gutters do not drain properly, this can also cause ice to build up during those Michigan winter months. Melted snow will not be able to drain properly and the wet and snow will build up between the gutter and house. What I have seen often, is that water migrating into the house, resulting in ceiling leaks, wall leaks and moisture in the attic. Especially with the drastic climate changes here, water migration is a very real problem to watch out for.
4. Insect Infestation 🐛
Water and debris left behind is very attractive to local insects. These insects will be attracted to the inside of the house when the weather changes, and so can lead to insect infestation within the home. My wife always jokes they want inside the warm house! Not to mention, wood-eating insects such as termites and carpenter ants are attracted to rotting leaves that can be left behind in gutters. Say no to insect pests!
5. Basement Leaks
When in excess, overflowing water can also affect basement walls. Seeping in through the cracks or surrounding ground, this type of leak most often causes black mold, musty smells, and water damage similar to flooding.
6. Landscape Damage 🌳
And last but not least, overflowing water can kill plants and grass in your yard below- especially with gutters visually obstructed. When those plants die, their roots no longer help hold the soil in place and could cause the topsoil to be washed away. If left untreated long enough, you will find a ditch where the soil once was under this clogged or damaged gutter.
We do not want any of these to happen to you and your home! To avoid these mishaps and protect your home, we recommend gutter maintenance twice a year here in Michigan.
At Morris Family Window and Gutter Cleaning, we scoop out the dirt and debris by hand and then rinse the gutter with a pressurized hose. We also will identify and inform you of any damage concerns so that you can plan for a remedy. Most other professional gutter cleaning services should be able to do the same as well as refer a trusted gutter repair company if needed.
There you have it! Why and How often you should clean your gutters as a homeowner. We would be happy to give you a free quote and answer any questions you may have, Call or Text us at: 313-752-1300