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5 reasons it's important to keep your gutters clean

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Cleaning your gutters can be a backbreaking task, but it’s one of the most important projects to keep your home in tip-top shape.

Not only that, a clean gutter will have a positive impact on your health as well.

Here’s a list of benefits that you can get from keeping your gutters clean.

It will prevent damage to your walls and ceilings

Gutters are designed to collect and keep rainwater and melted snow away from the walls and ceilings of your home. They need to be kept clean and free from any obstruction so that the water will drain properly.

But since gutters are notorious for being prone to leaks – especially integral gutters of old homes – those that are filled with debris will become a problem over time.

Once they become clogged, the water will look for other ways to drain.  And almost always, it will go straight to the soffit and then to your house’s walls and ceilings.

 

It will prevent basement leaks

If you suddenly see a leak in your basement that’s not due to static water coming from the ground, then it’s a sign that your gutters are clogged.

Water that gets dammed up in clogged gutters will start gushing down to the ground around your home.

The problem with this is that the soil that surrounds your basement is very porous. The large spaces in the soil will allow the water to quickly drain through them, going straight into your basement.

The formation of ice dams will be avoided

Even if the temperature drops below freezing point, the heat from the sun and heat loss coming from inside the house will thaw out the snow that has accumulated on the roof. 

Thawed snow that trickles down to jammed gutters will prevent it from flowing freely away from the house.

And since that part is colder than the roof, the water will freeze again. The refrozen water will quickly turn into an ice dam’s foundation.

Once the gutters are blocked by ice, the thawing snow will overflow from it, forming icicles and sheets of ice on the walls below it.

It will keep the gutters from becoming loose

The pile of leaves, twigs, and other debris will become heavier as they continue to soak in more water. The weight will eventually cause the gutters to come loose.

When this happens, the water will run behind the gutters, causing damage to the fascia, soffit, and eventually, the walls.

It will keep disease-carrying mosquitoes away

A clogged gutter can make you and your family vulnerable to mosquito-borne diseases like LaCrosse encephalitis, West Nile Virus, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

Keeping it clean will prevent the water to accumulate inside. Water ponding in gutters will be a major breeding ground for mosquitoes.

To keep your gutters healthy, it’s best to perform a thorough cleaning twice a year.

However, gutter cleaning should be done once a month if your house is surrounded by trees that shed leaves directly into your gutters.

It’s also important to check the condition of the gutters while they’re being cleaned so that appropriate repairs can be done in order to prevent the problem from getting worse.

Andy Tran