6 Serious Problems That Result from Not Cleaning Gutters

Do you like cleaning your gutters? Most of us don’t.

It’s backbreaking work that requires climbing up and down a ladder a lot, which means it can be dangerous too.

Even though it’s recommended to clean your gutters twice a year, it can seem like an endless, menial task that feels like it comes round all too quickly. But there is one thing that’s much worse: the consequences of neglecting to clean them.

What happens if you don’t clean your gutters?

Well, here are 6 problems that arise from not cleaning your guttering. These will get you out there scraping away the leaves, in a jiffy.

1. Blocked Gutters Cause Serious Structural Damage

This is the big one.

Neglecting to clean your gutters could literally cause your home to fall apart. And it would probably happen faster than you think.

Leaves in gutters create problems. Leaves and other debris trap excess water in the gutters during the rain, which is then unable to escape through the downpipes. Over time, the water will escape the gutters and seep through 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.

a home with structural damage

2. Blocked Gutters Create Substantial Roof Damage

If leaves become clogged in your gutters it can cause the waters after a heavy rain to seep into the roof. Much like in the walls, these can occur when gutters are quite full and water goes over the back side of the gutter into your roof cavity.

Those that 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.

repairing a crack in the ceiling

3. 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.

Not cleaning your gutters = neglect

Always check your home insurance policies to see what is and isn’t covered for your roof.

4. Blocked Gutters can lead to Mould and Pollen Related Allergies

As water seeps into your home through 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.

mould on a ceiling due to water damage

Of course, you’re probably aware that mould and mildew provoke serious health issues such as throat irritation, coughing, and wheezing.

Did you know:

An uncleaned gutter can trap large amounts of pollen in the spring, which can magnify the allergies of those who suffer during that time of year.

5. Blocked Gutters 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 descend on your dirty gutters in search of food, potentially damaging them in the process.

bugs in a home due to water damage

Another possible drawback is that if left neglected for too long, the animals could enter your home through the cracks and holes. This could lead to an animal living inside your attic or between your walls, which will result in scratching noises at best and an awful smell at worst.

They can also create cement and mortar damage which could lead to the need for a roof repair.

6. Blocked Gutters Can Smell and Look Bad

If you’re someone that takes pride in the appearance of your home, then it’d be silly not to keep your gutters clean. As they pile 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 leads to a mouldy smell, that can sometimes be detected from the ground.

 

So, what happens if you don’t clean your gutters? It can create lots of damage and financial consequences.

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. What would take you hours, or even a full day we can usually complete in an hour.

Is gutter damage covered by insurance?

No insurance company will cover damage due to neglect. If your gutters leak and cause damage because you have neglected to clean them this will not be covered under insurance.

Do clogged gutters attract mice?

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.

Do clogged gutters smell bad?

Any moisture trapped in leaves blocking a gutter lead to a mouldy smell, that can sometimes be detected from the ground.

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