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How can you tell if your gutters need cleaning?

It doesn’t seem like it should be that big a deal, does it? So what if your gutters are a bit clogged? So what if the water spills over the gutters? It’s just waters and leaves and dirt. What harm could any of that do?

The problem is that blocked gutters can cause a lot of harm. The gutters themselves can sag, the backed up water can, over time, cause your roof to rot and leak, or cause erosion at the foot of your foundations, which then means your foundations are open to the elements, which can cause subsidence and your walls to crack.

It seems that blocked gutters can have a big deal on the future of your house.

So how can you determine whether your gutters are actually blocked? Here are some signs that can clue you in to the state of your gutters.

Your Gutters Are Sagging.

Water is heavy, and when your gutters are blocked, that water has no where to go. Gutters are designed to be a transport system for water, not a support system. The water is meant to go from your roof to the underground drainage system, via your gutters and drainpipes, and that is it. When the water is blocked, causing the blockage itself to become water laden and heavy, the gutters are being asked to do something it wasn’t designed to do; support weight. Over time, the gutters will fail to handle this weight, and will sag away from the roof structure.

Water Is Overflowing Your Gutters.

If you are seeing water overflowing your gutters, it could be that you are experiencing a very intense rainfall event and your gutters can’t handle the amount of rain that is falling. If however, water is overflowing your gutters during a less than severe rainstorm event, this could be a clue that something is blocking the gutters, causing the water to back up and overflow.

You see plants growing from your gutters.

There are three things plants require to grow: sun, water and soil. If plants are growing from your gutters, they are receiving those three things. The sun’s not the problem, but the water and the soil is. Clearly, your gutter is blocked enough with soil and water that plat life has had time to take life. It is probably time you unclog your gutters.

Your gutters seem to be quite popular to wildlife.

If you notice rodents hanging around your gutters, you might have a blocked gutter problem. Why? Because rodents like the snug safety of the blocked vegetation within the gutter. The confines of the gutter and the blockage itself protects them from their predators.

Also, if you notice birds taking a particular interest in your gutters, that might be another clue that your gutters are blocked. Blocked gutters are usually full of vegetation and sticks and twigs … all of this is like a shopper’s heaven to a bird that is nesting. They come back again and again to take another piece of twig or vegetation back to their nest, and if you notice that happening, you need to get your gutters cleaned.

There are puddles at your foundations.

This is related to seeing water overflowing your gutters. Naturally, that water has to end up somewhere, and since it is not going where it is being directed to go ie. To the drainage system via the gutters, it is likely that the water ends up as a puddle near your foundations. As stated before, water at your foundations can cause erosion, which can damage the foundations.

So, all in all, there are good reasons for getting a professional gutter cleaning service, and hopefully now you know those signs that somethings not quite right with your gutters.

How Blocked Gutters Can Damage Your Home.

Your gutters don’t get the consideration they deserve. We usually think that a gutter’s only function is to make sure that water that falls on your roofs ends up in your drain, and while that is true, it’s the reason why this function is so important to makes it imperative we ensure that our gutters remain in tip-top shape.

Here are a few things around the house that might get damaged if your gutters remained blocked.

Yours Gutters.

Gutters are designed to move water from one place to another, but when the gutters are blocked, that water has nowhere to go. And even if the water evaporates, the blockage itself will remain water-logged for even longer. Water is heavy, and gutters weren’t designed for dealing with heavy weights that don’t move on. Eventually, your gutters will sag and may even fall away from your roof.

Your Roof.

If your gutters are blocked, the water will eventually overflow the gutters. Some may flow down your walls (more on this later), some will pool on your roof. Like gutters, roofs aren’t designed to hold heavy bodies of water for long periods of time. It’s why roofs are slanted; it’s to get water off the roof. In time, the roof might rot, or buckled under the weight of the water. If you’ve noticed your roof continually leaking, it might be because your gutters are blocked.

Your Foundations.

Pretty much all of the damage caused by blocked gutters is because the flow of water is not being controlled. Gutters are supposed to control the flow of the water from the roof down into your drains. If that process is blocked, the flow of water becomes unplanned, and that’s where damage can occur.

As mentioned previously, some water may overflow the gutters and form standing puddles on the roof; some water may flow down your exterior walls and form standing puddles near your foundations. This water can cause erosion at the base of your walls, which weakens the structure of your foundation.

You!

Gutters blocked with water-laden vegetation and debris attract insects, like disease carrying mosquitoes. if you have leaks into your house, those mosquitoes have an easy passageway into your house, and once inside, you become their favourite food source.

If your roofs are leaking, that water coming inside also invites mould growth to form. Mould spores are particularly dangerous for those suffering from asthma or allergies, which are far more prevalent in the young and the old.

All in all, there are many reasons why you should have your gutters regularly cleaned by a professional gutter cleaning company. Perhaps you could do the cleaning yourselves, but please consider the fact that working from ladders that are placed against gutters that may be compromised because of the blockage, may cause you to have an accident and fall … and falls from even a couple of feet can be dangerous, while falls from a couple of metres could be fatal.