If you haven’t looked inside of your gutters in the last five years, you could be doing serious damage to your home. In fact, a variety of problems are caused by clogged gutters, which can result in extremely expensive home repairs. If you’ve noticed any of the following problems at your home, it might be a good idea to clean, repair or replace your clogged gutters.
1. Cracks in the Foundation – Clogged gutters only add to problems by helping water to pool around the foundation, which leads to weakened materials and potential penetration points.
2. Rotting Wood – When the water starts to build up and stands stagnant for several days (or even just hours), the wood around your home will start to break down and decompose, causing serious problems. Replacing all of the wood fascia around your home could cost thousands of dollars. This can be prevented by making sure your gutters are clean.
3. Leaky Roofs – When the ceiling of your living room starts to look pregnant, you know you have a problem. Clogged gutters can result in frozen water in the winter that stands for several days, blocking the flow of unfrozen water from the roof. This will eventually weaken the shingles and wood on the roof, causing leaks into your attic and home. Attic leaks can go unoticed for a period of time, which can also result in major mold issues and even the need for a roof replacement.
4. Sagging Driveways – Just as large roots can lift the concrete blocks of your driveway into the air, clogged gutters can result in pooling water that breaks down the concrete from the top. This might cause sagging driveways or even large cracks down the center, which doesn’t look nice and can cause problems for your cars. A full driveway replacement is far more expensive then maintaining or replacing old gutters.
5. Ruined Landscaping – Remember all that money you spend on your beautiful landscaping? All of that can be destroyed in a few weeks by clogged gutters. The water exits the gutters with sufficient force to dig holes in your flower beds and gardens, resulting in over-watered plants and unsightly dips in the topography of your yard.
How to Fix Them
Cleaning your gutters at least once every three months, and more frequently if leafy trees hang over your roof. If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, most landscaping companies provide this service for a nominal fee. It is also a good idea to replace old, rusted or defective gutters, even though this can get expensive. Gutter guards and screens might likewise not be a bad investment.