Most people don’t like cleaning gutters. It’s messy, it can take a while, and you have to precariously balance on a ladder. In 2009, a grand total of 246,733 Americans visited the emergency room after falling off of a ladder (per the Consumer Products Safety Commission). No one wants to deal with that.
Unfortunately though, it is still very important that you keep your gutters clean to protect the value of your home and yard. Clogged gutters may seem like an inconsequential problem, but they can ultimately cost you thousands of dollars in damage to your home’s frame, foundation, and roof.
If you don’t feel like dealing with the hassle yourself, please give us a call at Action Northwest today for professional, reasonably-priced cleaning and maintenance.
Keeping gutters clean is essential to prevent damage to your home:
Weight: Gutters are built to divert water flow away from your house, not to support any excess weight. Although dead leaves and other assorted debris may be light, they can really start to add up once your drain is clogged leaving your gutters full of standing water. Cleaning them out is much easier and cheaper than potentially needing to replace or repair your gutters.
Wall and Roof Seepage: Gutters divert water away from the house because the water can seriously harm the woodwork that makes up your home’s frame. Clogged gutters can send torrents of water straight at your wooden walls and ceilings. The most common problem is rot, a wood condition caused by water seepage. Once the wood becomes moist, fungi can grow and corrupt it. Dampness also attracts termites which can wreak havoc on your house’s framework. Finally, clogged gutters are a risk for overflow, and that overflow water can get under your roof shingles. Once that happens, it can compromise the entire integrity of your roof which will then need to be replaced. The average cost of having that done is about $11,100.
Foundation Damage: If you’re gutters are overflowing, the water can pool around the foundation of your house causing several types of damage. Foundation damage is extremely costly to fix since it is both time and labor intensive. Fixing a cracked foundation generally costs anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000. Foundation damage may include:
Soil swelling: When water seeps into it, soil swells and expands. This can cause foundational cracking. In extreme cases, the entire foundation can shift.
Dirt Erosion: Washing away the dirt surrounding your foundation strips your home of a protective layer and leaves your foundation vulnerable to cracking, moisture damage, and shifts.
Ice: Water expands when frozen, so large pools of water surrounding your foundation can exact extreme amounts of pressure on it as they freeze and cause cracks. Once temperatures warm up, the ice will thaw and water will fill the cracks caused by the ice, eroding your home’s foundation.
Flooding: Another consequence of water overflowing from clogged gutters and pooling is the potential for flooding. If you have a basement or crawlspace beneath your house, you want to ensure that your gutters are still delivering your runoff water to an acceptable distance from your home. Otherwise, excess water can leak in through windows or seep in through the walls, costing thousands in damage to your basement and crawlspace.