You’re no doubt aware that you need to clean your gutters every 6 to 12 months, to avoid causing water damage to your home. However, you may not know precisely how the process occurs, nor how severe the damage to your home can be.
Therefore, this article is going to cover exactly that. And by the end of it, you’ll probably never neglect to clean your gutters again.
It Can Cause Your Roof to Leak
Gutters are specially designed to channel rainwater to a specific area of the exterior of your home. And when they’re don’t, the whole system fails and causes water to seep through your roof instead. As your gutters get clogged, rainwater will overflow onto the roof and seep through the tiles to damage the sheeting beneath. Oftentimes, this sheeting and the materials around it are made of wood, which will begin to rot.
Worse still, water may penetrate the roof entirely and make its way through to the ceiling of your home, appearing as a leak or stain. In these situations, mould may spread throughout the room in as little as 48 hours, which is a nightmare to fix. Furthermore, you could have to replace the water-damaged shingles and maybe even the entire roof.
They Can Damage Your Foundations
Structural damage is the worst side effect of an overflowing gutter. As gutters overflow, water can gradually cause fissures in the walls or ground, as it slowly seeps into a porous material such as concrete. Over time, these hairline fractures expand to become large cracks which, if left unchecked, will eventually compromise the structural integrity of your home.
Note that this process can occur alarmingly quickly in sub-zero environments because the water that seeps into the cracks will freeze, causing it to expand rapidly and thus widen the crack. Repairing structural damage to a home is costly as it often entails replacing entire sections of the building.
Your Gutters Can Become Too Heavy
Gutters which are full of leaves and other organic debris become excessively heavy and bogged down, especially as they get soaked with rainwater, which takes forever to dry out.
As a result, the gutter itself gradually starts to peel away from the roof, and may eventually detach entirely and fall to the ground. In some situations, this could pose a serious risk to anyone standing below or near the area.
They Can Damage the Garden Below
Instead of channeling water towards the drainpipe, a clogged gutter will cause it to overflow onto the garden below. In heavy rains, this will cause an excessive amount of water to fall onto your plants, which could either drown them or crush them from the pressure. Another possibility is that the water could erode the soil of your garden over time.
It Can Seep Into the Facades of Your Home
As we know, an overflowing gutter will spill onto your roof, walls, and the garden below. But there’s another equally damaging section it could reach: the facade.
A significant amount of water will trickle down the gutters and onto the exterior wall of your home, gradually damaging the paint on its descent. Should it run into any windows, it’ll cause the wood to rot and may result in internal mould growth if the window is not entirely watertight.