If you hate gutter cleaning, chances are you’ll put it off for as long as you can. However, this can lead to clogged gutters. And if the thought of clogged gutters doesn’t worry you, then you don’t know how much damage they can do to your home and your bank account.
When water cannot flow through your gutters, it will overflow. Depending on your gutters and your home, this overflow may run down the exterior of your home or into your home. If it runs down exterior walls, you can expect to see water stains. These unsightly marks can be difficult to remove and will continue to reappear until the clogged gutters are dealt with.
However, these marks are nothing compared to the damage this water overflow can do inside your home. Water may push against the fascia board, getting inside your roof cavity. From there, it may pool, leading to leaks in your ceiling, along with damp walls and ceilings.
If left alone, this water damage can be serious. Leaks may damage furniture beneath them, and you can expect paint to bulge or peel from damp walls and ceilings. You can deal with these issues, but they will continue to reappear as long as the gutters remain clogged.
Clogged gutters can cause significant structural damage to your home — they can even render it uninhabitable in extreme cases.
For starters, gutters are typically made of lightweight materials that are not designed to support much weight. Additionally, they are often affixed with simple brackets or screws that can easily be pulled out. So, when gutters become clogged and grow heavy, they will start to bend and pull away from your roof. Obviously, this causes damage to the gutters and they will need to be replaced, but it can also damage your roof. Depending on how they’re affixed, parts of your roof may also be put under unnecessary strain and start to break. You may then need to organise roof repairs.
But this isn’t the only structural damage clogged gutters can cause. Not every part of your home is waterproof. In fact, many materials used in modern homes can rot, warp or be worn away by overexposure to water. This will occur in conjunction with other water damage as discussed above.
For instance, if your ceiling regularly leaks when it rains, this is because water is gathering in your roof cavity. Over time, this can wear away at the ceiling. In extreme cases, it may even cause the ceiling to collapse. This is an expensive repair and may damage other parts of your home, your furniture and even injure you or family members.
And if water is flowing down the sides of your house, you can also expect structural damage to your home’s foundations. They may shift, crack or even sink as the ground around them becomes oversaturated, causing dirt to loosen and move. Foundation repair is extremely costly, and you may not be able to live in your home until this is done.
When your gutters are clogged, water will flow where it shouldn’t. This can then lead to standing water in any part of your home. If this becomes a regular occurrence, it can prove the perfect conditions for mould to grow.
These spores will grow somewhere damp and dark. Therefore, it will likely be somewhere you can’t see like inside a wall or in your roof cavity. Instead, you may notice a musty smell or that your allergies are being triggered.
Even if you don’t notice any of these signs, if you suspect your gutter is overflowing, you need to be proactive about mould. Mould spores can cause serious respiratory issues, like asthma and lung infections.
Clogged gutters can cause a lot of damage to your home, while also providing the perfect nesting conditions for a range of pests. Many insects, like mosquitoes and cockroaches, are attracted to standing or stagnant water, which can collect in clogged gutters. Similarly, the material that is clogging your gutters, like leaves and twigs, can provide food and shelter for other pests, including mice, rats and even possums.
These pests can cause further damage to your home, such as chewing through wiring. They can also threaten your wellbeing. For instance, they may carry diseases which can be transmitted through their saliva or droppings.
Therefore, you want to keep your gutters as clean as possible to avoid these pests moving in. If not, you will continually find yourself needing to call in the exterminator.
Damage to landscaping
If you’re a keen gardener or appreciate a tidy, green lawn, clogged gutters will definitely cause you problems. As water cannot correctly drain from your gutters, it has to go somewhere. If it doesn’t go into your house, it will pool around it. The soil may then become waterlogged.
Waterlogged soil presents a lot of problems for plants. The roots cannot effectively get oxygen, meaning that the plant will not thrive. It may even start to wither and die. You may notice symptoms like leaves turning yellow, along with the surrounding ground remaining damp, if not downright soggy, for an extended period after it has rained.
A way to remedy this is to ensure appropriate drainage in your garden. This may include digging channels or even laying pipes to direct water out of your garden. However, a far easier and less expensive way is to simply clean your gutters regularly.
It’s clear that neglecting gutter cleaning is a recipe for disaster on many levels. If you put off this important job for too long, expect damage to your home in many forms, including structural and water damage, as well as an increased presence of pests.