Gutter and downspout systems are a key element in protecting your home during times of heavy rains. Their job is to prevent damage to the foundation and sides of a home by keeping water away. They keep huge amounts of water from running off your roof, down your walls and around your foundation. They also prevent water from plummeting down on your head when entering or leaving your home.
To do their job effectively, gutter systems must be clear of any leaves and debris that may be blocking the channels and preventing water flow. Blockages can force water to back-up and overflow, pushing it into the house or over the edges and setting up for a host of potential problems.
Ignoring blocked gutters and downspouts can result in rotted fascia boards and eave edges, water damage to the sides of your home, and seepage into your basement from hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is a force created when water builds up around your home’s foundation. The added weight impels water into the basement through cracks and joints. Water is also absorbed through the porous concrete, making your basement more humid and susceptible to mold or mildew. Faulty gutter systems are a common source for hydrostatic pressure on a foundation.
To maintain water flow and keep water away from your home, gutter cleaning should be done once or twice a year, preferably late spring and/or late fall. An option to substantially reduce the number of times and effort needed for regular gutter cleaning is to install leaf blocking protection over your gutters. Depending on the size of your home, along with the proximity and amount of trees, this option may or may not be a cost-effective solution.
Whether you decide to clean your gutters yourself, or hire an insured professional, this maintenance chore can help you avoid potential problems and costly home repairs from water infiltration.