All too often we treat gutters as an out-of-sight, out-of-mind issue.After all, they’re far above the height of
things we typically notice, and until we see them overflowing (or worse, falling down) we have a tendency to ignore them. That can be a costly mistake. Here’s why.
What’s wrong with clogged gutters?
with having clogged, blocked gutters is far more than aesthetic in nature. While having sticks and leaves visible, or
noticing waterfalls from the roof edge after a downpour (or heavy icicles
during the winter) may be less than ideal in terms of your building’s
appearance, the long term consequences of not maintaining clean gutters are far
more severe than simply looking untidy. There are several issues at play:
have several issues which result in their weighing too much to be properly
supported. First, of course, there’s the
matter of the debris itself. Second, if the gutters are clogged, water cannot
flow through, and trapped water contributes to the weight problem. Finally,
debris like leaves and sticks absorb water, which means that even if some water
is still trickling through, your gutters are supporting far more weight than is
recommended. If the problem becomes severe enough, the gutters could pull away
from the building, damaging the building and becoming damaged themselves. Of
course, falling gutters also represent a safety hazard.
isn’t being properly dispersed through the gutters, it overflows. That can
result in unsightly water damage on the exterior of the building. Even more
damaging are the results if the water ends up infiltrating the walls
themselves, especially if this goes unnoticed until the material behind the
siding begins to rot.
and tile damage
isn’t usually damaging to roofs or shingles, but ice is. As water freezes in
the gutters, it will expand, pushing up against the edge of the roof and tiles.
This can also create a barrier that results in standing water (and eventually
ice) on the roof, which can lead to serious long-term damage.
to the building’s foundation
water is allowed to run down the side of the building rather than being drained
away at a distance, this can actually cause permanent damage to the building’s
foundations. Cracks in the foundation can lead to flooding in basements and
crawl spaces, and result in the need for costly repairs.