Cleaning your gutters isn’t the prettiest or most enjoyable household chore, but it is necessary when owning your own house. Gutters control the flow of rainwater and they are the main defense for your roof, walls, foundation and landscape. Material that can get into the gutters include leaves, branches, dirt and other foreign objects. When these begin to accumulate it can cause a stoppage and your gutters can overflow. Here are 6 reasons why you should always be sure to add “clean the gutters” to your list of to-dos.
What if You Don’t Clean Your Gutters
1. Cracks in your Foundation
If your gutters don’t get cleaned out, they can overflow and begin to pool along your home’s foundation. If that water doesn’t get a chance to drain and freezes it can expand and cause cracks in the foundation. According to HomeAdvisor.com the National Average to repair a foundation is $4,026 with a low end of $450 and a high end of $11,434.
2. Damage to Fascia
Your fascia is the board that runs right behind and underneath your gutter. This board is typically made out of wood and if the water overflows into the fascia board it can deteriorate and rot away. Replacing your Fascia board can cost anywhere from $15 to $25 a linear food if you get it installed professionally.
3. Roof Damage
Similar to the fascia board, if your gutters overflow with water, your roof can begin to rot. Replacing a roof can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $8,400. This is an expensive, labor-intensive job that can come along with not cleaning your gutters.
4. Damage to Gutter Brackets
The weight of the debris that falls into the gutter is something people don’t typically think about. If enough debris falls into the gutter, it can be too much weight for the gutters brackets to handle. This can cause them to break and potentially knock down a large portion of your gutter.
5. Driveaway Damage
Water not draining properly can cause mold to grow on your driveway, or in the winter it could freeze and become ice. This can be a safety concern for anyone leaving the house before the ice has had time to melt or the mold has been cleaned off.
6. Landscape Damage
Plants need water to grow but unfortunately getting an overflow of water is just as detrimental as not getting enough water. Plants that are in the way of a waterfall that comes from an overflowed gutter can be killed because of the water pooling up around or even underneath them.
How to Clean Your Gutters
Doing it yourself
Cleaning your gutters seems simple, but it can be a dangerous job. Climbing a latter up to the first or second story is a lot higher than you may think. Be sure your latter is sturdy and have someone hold it steady from the bottom. When you’re up there don’t reach too far to one side and be sure to use gloves and safety glasses.
Professional cleanings can cost anywhere from $75 to $225 for an average sized home. The professionals will remove debris from the gutters and downspouts and repair any loose gutter brackets.