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Prevent Water Damage by Keeping Your Home’s Gutters Clean and Repaired

By Luke Armstrong

The welcome, warmer climate of spring brings with it torrential rain. Springtime downpours fall straight into a home’s gutter systems, making a clean gutter essential. The balmy temperatures of spring allow homeowners to ascend to their rooftops and bring down the host of debris that has accumulated along the gutter throughout the frosty winter.

A spring season gutter cleaning removes all the accumulated debris from the winter. Plus, spring gutter cleanings are necessary due to the fact that the spring blossoms and seeds of trees and plants develop and can potentially land in the gutter, causing blockage problems.

Gutter Cleaning to Avoid Water Damagecleaning-gutters

A blocked gutter leads to a significant issue—water damage. When the spring’s rainwater and melting snow along the rooftop have nowhere to drain, the water backs up and destroys areas of the home, like the roof and siding. You can prevent this water damage by maintaining the gutters twice a year, in the spring and fall.

Homeowners avoid pricey gutter replacements by examining the gutter every spring. The gutter, being high up and out of sight, fails to reveal the leaves, twigs and natural debris that gather inside and cause a blockage. Water damage starts to occur, and the homeowner notices the damage too late.

Address these out-of-sight, out-of-mind problems by checking the gutter system twice annually regardless of how clean it looks from the ground. Homes situated near trees should undergo gutter cleanings far more frequently than twice annually.

How Does Gutter Cleaning Prevent Fascia Damage?

The fascia is a sort of wooden roof trim that can become easily damaged with extensive exposure to moisture, like rainwater that fails to drain properly from the gutter system. The wooden fascia boards, when constantly saturated with water, begin to rot and deteriorate.

Signs of fascia damage include instances when the gutter systems pull away from the home or when the gutter’s spikes that bind them to the house continually require pushing back into place. When fascia damage occurs, the sagging gutters lead to additional excessive damage from the rainwater overflows.

How Does Gutter Cleaning Prevent Foundation Damage?

A clean gutter gives rainwater a clear path into the downspouts, which in turn direct water away from the home’s foundation. In a blocked gutter system, the water spills over the gutters, down the siding and puddles around the property’s foundation.

A failing foundation can be identified when cracks become visible or other damage occurs to the foundation. Pooling water around the foundation can also heavily contribute to its collapse. In the event the foundation remains intact, mold growth becomes a problematic issue.

How Does Gutter Cleaning Prevent Damage to Landscaping?

Clean gutters allow water to flow freely through the gutters and away from the home, avoiding flooding altogether. The flower beds, trees, and bushes surrounding a home require water, but not in excess amounts. When a clogged gutter leads to continual spillovers, the surplus water lands in the landscape below. Overwatered plants tend to yellow, droop, prematurely drop leaves or develop root rot.

What is the Easiest Way to Check the Gutter?

One of the simplest methods for inspecting the gutter from below should occur on a rainy day. Look at the downspout, watching for the rainwater to clearly flow through. Also pay attention to the rooftop gutter system to make sure the water does not spill over.

Water that does not flow easily down and out of the downspout indicates that a blockage exists somewhere along the gutter system. Be on the lookout for water that overflows from the gutters’ edges, as it is a clear signal that the gutter is filled with blockage-causing debris.

What is the Best Way to Clean the Gutter?

Upon inspecting the gutter, take a sunny morning to clean it. The sun’s rays dry out leaves and debris, making it easier to clean. For a one-story house, climb a ladder to access the gutters. Using a handheld leaf blower, disperse the dried twigs and leaves out of the gutter.

A handy wet/dry vacuum or trowel also can be used to remove debris from the gutter. The gush of water from a garden hose easily flushes away dirt, small particles and debris. A hefty blockage may be broken up with a plumber’s snake and then washed away with a hose.

What is an Effective Way to Clean the Downspout?

When spraying water from the garden hose along the gutter system, aim the waterflow toward the downspout. If the downspout fails to emit the debris from the gutter, the downspout must be cleaned. Simply direct the garden hose into the bottom of the downspout to loosen particles packed inside.

What Type of Gutter Protections are Available?

Homeowners who choose to go a step further to maintain clean gutters can install additional protections along the gutter system. Examples of gutter protections include snap-in gutter screens, downspout guards, clean mesh and aluminum, foam or stainless-steel gutter guards.

A springtime gutter cleaning takes a single morning or afternoon. The investment of time and effort are paid back when you avoid the significant water damage that results from a clogged gutter system. Hire a professional if you feel unsafe climbing a ladder to complete the task.

Water Damage: What to DoHome-Exterior-Garden-Flowers

In the event the gutters overflow and water damage occurs to your home’s siding, foundation and interior, consult a restoration professional. The water damage restoration experts are trained to swiftly restore residential or commercial properties to their pre-damaged condition.

Water damage is an emergency situation. Avoid the mold infestations and structural rot caused by water damage by acting quickly. Skilled technicians from ServiceMaster Quality Restoration arrive on-site to assess the water damage, remove the excess moisture, thoroughly dry the premises and apply anti-microbial products to deter water-borne bacteria. They will also work with your insurance company during the claims process to make things easier for you.