If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t pay much attention to your gutters… That is, until a there’s a torrential downpour and water is flowing over them and creating huge puddles around your house, and water from those puddles starts seeping into your foundation.
The fact is, gutters are an extremely important feature of your home. They prevent situations just like the one described above – and other serious problems – that can cause major destruction and cost thousands of dollars to repair. Gutters protect your house from issues like:
- Foundation damage
- Infestations of pests
- Damaged siding
- Rot and rust
- Landscape damage
So, you see, while it may not seem like gutters do much, in reality, they do a whole lot. Made of metal (typically aluminum), gutters are positioned in a horizontal fashion on the outer edges of your home’s roof. Water that pours off of your roof collects in the gutters, and that water then flows into downspouts, which direct it away from the foundation of your home.
If the gutters are installed properly and clear, the water will flow effortlessly into the downspouts; however, when they’re obstructed, runoff water will pool in the gutters, and that’s when you run into problems – that’s why cleaning them is so important.
What Clogs Gutters
Basically, anything that’s above your house and falls can get stuck in the gutters. Twigs, leaves, dirt, and debris are some of the most common causes of clogs. However, things that are swept up in the wind can also make their way into your gutters, such as plastic bags. Birds, squirrels, and other critters can also cause problems. They see them as safe spots where that offer protection and can build nests in them.
How Often Should Gutters be Cleaned
It really depends on where you live; however, the general recommendation is twice a year: in the spring and fall. These seasons are the height of falling debris from trees; they’re also prime nest-building seasons for critters.
If you have a lot of trees around your home, you might want to consider cleaning your gutters more frequently.
How to Clean Your Gutters
If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, clean them yourself. Pull out any dirt and debris and then run a hose through the gutters to flush them out. If aren’t partial to getting dirty, you can hire a professional gutter cleaning company to do it.
However, you choose to do it, cleaning your gutters at least twice a year can save you from major headaches.