Not many people like to clean their gutters. It’s backbreaking work that requires endlessly climbing up and down a ladder, which means it can be dangerous too. And even though you only have to clean them twice a year, it just seems like an endless menial task that always needs to be done. But there is one thing that’s much worse: the consequences of neglecting to clean them.
Here are 6 problems that arise from not cleaning your guttering, which will get you out there scraping away for leaves, in a jiffy.
Serious Structural Damage
This is the big one.
Neglecting to clean your gutters could literally cause your home to fall apart. And it’ll probably happen faster than you think. What happens is the leaves and other debris trap excess water in the gutters are the rain, which are unable to escape through the downpipes. Over time, these seep through your gutters into your walls and roof, creating cracks and fissures along the way. These expand as more water enters, and can eventually compromise the foundations of your home.
Seeping water will also rot wood as it comes into contact with it, and damage tiles and other materials. Rebuilding after such a scenario can be very expensive indeed.
Substantial Roof Damage
If your gutters are clogged, the waters after heavy rain will tend to seep into the roof as well. Much like in the walls, these occurs through tiny hairline fissures which gradually expand over time.
Those of us who live in sub zero climates (which admittedly isn’t many in Australia) are even more at risk. When the water freezes inside these fissures, it causes them to rapidly expand, which can damage your home much more quickly than normal.
Damage Won’t Be Covered By Your Insurance
A responsible homeowner will take out insurance that covers any inadvertent damage to their home. However, read the fine print and you’ll find that no insurance policy will cover damage caused by neglect. And yes, not bothering to clean your gutters every so often certainly does count as neglect.
Mould and Pollen Related Allergies
As water seeps into your home through these fissures, it could result in a serious mould or mildew outbreak. In the right conditions – usually humid and dark – mould and mildew are known to spread like wildfire and can easily overrun a substantial portion of your home. Once these tiny fungi have established their colonies, they’re extremely difficult and costly to get rid of. In fact, it’s often necessary to replace entire sections of carpet.
Of course, you’re probably aware that they provoke serious health issues such as throat irritation, coughing, and wheezing. Another effect of uncleaned gutter is that they tend to trap large amounts of pollen in the spring, which can magnify the allergies of those who suffer during that time of year.
You Could Attract Unwanted Visitors
Clogged gutters are a goldmine for all kinds of creatures, due to the huge amount of potential nutrients they store. Critters such as birds, mice, rats, and possums will descent on your dirty gutters in search of food, potentially damaging them in the process.
Another possible drawback is that if left neglected for too long, the animals could enter your home through the cracks and holes. These could lead to an animal living inside your attic of between your walls, which will result in scratching noises at best and an awful smell at worst.
They’ll Smell and Look Bad
If you’re one to take pride in the appearance of your home, then it’d be silly not to keep your gutters clean. As they pill up with leaves and debris, your roof will look unkempt which greatly subtracts from the aesthetics of your home. Note also that the moisture trapped in the leaves lead to a mouldy smell, that can sometimes be detected from the ground.
Although cleaning your gutters is a pain, neglecting to do so is far more painful in the long run. Keep these six issues in mind when deciding whether or not you need to clean your gutters. And remember, a professional gutter cleaning service could do it quicker and cheaper than you think.