Monday, May 10th, 2021 by Team Arrow
Did you clean your gutters before winter this year? Did you remove the leaves and other debris that can clog gutters?
It might not seem important to clean and inspect your gutters in late fall. But, from the foundation to the roof, gutters prevent damage throughout your home.
Gutters that don’t work (from damage or clogs) can cause serious problems for your home. Even leading to an unsafe home. Read on to find out why well-functioning gutters are essential to a safe home this winter.
Keeping rain water and snow melt away from your home is the most important function of gutters. Your foundation can be damaged when gutters don’t direct excess water away from it.
When your gutters are clogged, they can’t direct the water well. Instead of going away from your home, the rain water and snow melt will pool next to your home.
As the soil is unable to handle so much water (like after a snow storm), the water will have an easy path to your foundation. Eventually, your foundation will crack, shift, or otherwise become structurally unsound.
Your foundation supports every other aspect of your home. So, foundation damage compromises the structural integrity of the rest of your home. If foundation damage is severe enough, you and your family might not be able to live safely in your home until costly repairs are completed.
Having clogged or damaged gutters this winter could make your home unsafe by causing foundation damage.
Gutters that don’t work could also lead to a flooded basement this winter.
Although spring and summer seem wetter than the winter months, heavy snow storms create a lot of water for gutters to manage. If the excess snow melt isn’t properly directed by your gutters, it can make its way into your home.
Your basement is the most common place snow melt ends up. While your basement should have a drainage system, it isn’t meant to handle as much water as gutters. If your gutters are clogged or broken, the water they don’t direct will overwhelm your basement – leading to basement flooding.
Whether you have a finished or unfinished basement, you likely store keep sakes or other memories in it. If your basement floods, all of these important memories will be ruined.
Plus, basement flooding can also cause structural problems for your home. It can damage the supports needed to hold up the other floors of your home. If your home doesn’t have the proper support, it can be unsafe for you and your family to live there.
Ensuring your gutters are in working order will help prevent a winter flood of your basement.
Along with protecting the bottom of your home, gutters also protect your roof and attic.
Gutters handle water that runs off your roof. Ideally, gutters direct this water down and away from your home.
But, if your gutters are clogged or damaged, this water can be forced back and under your roof. This water can collect under your roof and cause cosmetic and structural problems.
Excess water can damage shingles by discoloring them or causing them to detach from your roof. It can also cause the mortar holding your chimney together to crack.
In terms of structural problems, incorrectly directed water can erode your roof supports. This can lead to roof sagging or even collapse if the supports are severely damaged.
And, snow melt that gets into your attic can cause water damage to the insulation, inside of the roof, or ceilings of your home.
Functioning gutters help keep your roof structure safe and prevent water damage in the upper levels of your home.
Gutters that don’t direct the snow melt away from your home can also cause problems with your pavement.
Driveways, walkways, patios, and any other paved surface can be damaged by water pooling on top or underneath them.
If your gutters aren’t working properly, they could be directing water to any of your paved surfaces. Although you might not see anything wrong, this excess water could be eroding your pavement from the bottom. You won’t see any signs of damage until it’s too late for simple fixes.
Your gutters could also be directing snow melt onto your pavement. Rather than having the snow melt drain away from your home, it could be pooling on your driveway, walkways, or patio. Standing water can erode all of these surfaces – making them unstable.
Unstable pavement increases the risk of tripping and falling – leading to injury.
Having working gutters will reduce the risk of pavement erosion – keeping you and your family safe when using the paved areas of your home.
Poorly working gutters can also damage your landscaping. Similar to pavement, landscaping can be damaged by water collecting under it. But, it can also be damaged and even killed by too much water on or around it.
If your gutters don’t direct water away from your home, your landscaping could be overwhelmed by the excess water. Not having working gutters could result in the death of at least some (if not most) of your landscaping.
Landscaping adds curb appeal to your home. But, that’s not its only function. Your landscaping prevents soil erosion and keeps soil from shifting too much. If your soil starts to erode or move, your foundation could be damaged.
Larger landscaping can also be a threat to your home if it becomes unsecured due to soil erosion. Your trees have a higher risk of falling over onto your home if your soil is weak due to erosion. The risk of trees falling becomes a big problem in winter when they are already overburdened by snow and ice. This could not only damage your home but also harm your family.
Well-functioning gutters protect your landscaping, which keeps your home and larger landscaping in place.
Non-working gutters also increase the risk of your gutters failing altogether.
When your gutters aren’t working properly, debris, water, and even ice get trapped in your gutters. The excess weight can eventually cause your gutters to fail and fall off your home.
Replacing your gutter system is a costly repair. Maintaining your gutters by cleaning them out is a much more cost-effective option.
Your gutters failing can also be dangerous to your family. If the gutter supports can no longer handle the weight of your gutters and the debris, these supports could fail. Resulting in your gutters falling off your house. If any member of your family is walking underneath your gutters when they fail, your family member could be seriously injured.
To prevent having to replace your entire gutter system and serious injury to your family, it’s important to make sure your gutters are in good shape this winter.
It’s easy to overlook gutters as you head into the holiday season. Hanging lights and baking cookies is much more enjoyable than cleaning your gutters.
But, it you skip this regular gutter maintenance, your gutters could stop working this winter. And, you wouldn’t even know it until your home is seriously damaged. And, unsafe for your family.
To keep your family and your home safe this winter, make sure to clean and inspect your gutters.
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