Clogged gutters may lead to damage to your home at many levels including the foundations, walls, interior and roof.
There are many benefits of gutter cleaning. Clogged gutters may lead to the appearance of mold and foundation damage at the subterranean level of your property because rain that should be diverted away from the foundations is allowed to pool and seep into the ground at the foot of your property.
Excess water running down your walls may also result in issues from the facia boards (the wooden boards that attach the guttering) down. If you have wooden siding this will deteriorate more quickly and may rot or the paintwork may be damaged allowing water to slowly seep into your property. Similarly window frames will be exposed to more water and are more likely to rot.
Water entering you roof or walls could then result in mold and damp that may go unnoticed immediately in particular if it is behind wallpaper or furniture.
For brick or stone houses you might also discover moss showing up between bricks or stonework. This may show there is an issue with your gutters.
Working our way up, blocked gutters could also result in deterioration of your roofline. This may be a result of unwanted invaders, water ingress or rotting and cracks to the structure of the roof.
How Obstructed Gutters Could Result In Damage To Your Roof
Obstructed gutters could damage your roofline in many ways.
Roof Leaks and Sagging
Blocked gutters will prevent the free flow of rain from the roof which could cause leaks and sagging. Leaks in the roof could often go unnoticed for a considerable amount of time and result in damage to your electrics, as well as mold and cracks in the ceilings, even causing them to collapse.
The primary function of your gutters is to channel rainwater away from your building. If gutters become clogged the rain cannot be channelled away which, over time, will begin to damage the wood allowing water access to the inside of the property.
As well as causing potentially expensive damage to the roof, leaks will also damage the inside of your building, meaning you have to fix ceilings and quite possibly have to fix furniture that has been water damaged.
The problem can often be that even minor leaks may cause huge devastation as the damp they cause provides an ideal environment for mold and mildew which can lead to both structural and cosmetic damage as well as a severe impact on the health of your family.
If water gets into fissures it will expand when it freezes causing more damage to the roof, and a large number of roof leaks will at first be caused by ice dams stemming from blocked gutters.
Pests Using Your Gutters
Obstructed gutters could also develop into home to pests this can be more than just a annoyance but also a health hazard and cause roof damage.
One of the most damaging pests are termites. They can eat the wooden beams that make up the support structure of your roof. A termite colony may do significant damage before you even realise they are there and in extreme examples could even lead to you roof collapsing meaning the last thing you want is to give them a place to breed.
Telltale signs of termite damage include sagging rooflines or ceilings, the presence of termite wings or dead termites, if you see termites swarming, and loose tiles.
Clearing your gutters can create an inhospitable environment for termites and other pests to take up residence.
Blocked gutters could also attract birds as they provide a bountiful supply of nest material and a sheltered spot to lay eggs. Birds might seem like guests we want to invite to our gardens, their presence may result in deterioration of your roof.
Bird poo is highly acidic that can degrade paint as well as in big enough quantities it could be corrosive enough to weaken tar and degrade roof tiles.
Birds attracted by all that building material can also make nests in other places including your chimney and attic if they can find their way in, which can cause damage of anything you have stored in there. You’ll usually hear if you have birds living in the attic but obviously deterring them from taking up residence to begin with is a better option.
Frequent gutter clearing may also be the perfect to .
Obstructed Gutters Could Be a Fire Risk
Finally, blocked gutters may be a fire risk. Firstly a large number of dry leaves and twigs may provide the perfect tinder and secondly rainwater seeping into your property can come into contact with electrical wires causing them to short circuit potentially creating sparks.
How to Unclog Gutters and Prevent Roof Damage
Unclogging gutters isn’t difficult and should be considered routine building maintenance that takes place at least once if not twice a year. Although, while not being complex, it does take time, can be dangerous, plus you need a big ladder and a head for heights, so it could be a job you would prefer to pass on to the professionals.
When you have got rid of all the debris use your hose pipe to run water along the gutters getting rid of any final debris and ensuring that gutters are flowing freely, water isn’t pooling anywhere where gutters have started to sag, and that darinpipes are flowing freely.
If downpipes are blocked you can need a plumbers auger.
Ideally gutter clearing should take place twice a year in autumn and spring. This also provides the perfect time to check for roof damage looking out for signs of pests, leaks or rotting wood.
To reduce the need for gutter clearing you can think about having gutter protection installed to stop debris getting into your gutters to begin with.
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