Today we are going to talk about something that most homeowners take for granted; their gutters. Your gutter system is responsible for diverting water away from your house to keep it from sitting around your foundation. When gutters become clogged it can cause a lot more than foundation problems.
How Do You Know If Your Gutters Are Not Working?
First of all, be familiar with how your gutter system works and where the downspouts are located. If you see a lot of leaves and debris where your downspouts empty, it’s a sign that your gutters are filling up and could become clogged. This is why it is so important to routinely inspect your gutters at least twice a year. When clogged gutters are left unclogged for too long it can cause damage to your home that could reach into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Your roof and shingles are designed to send rainwater one way, down. When your gutters are clogged it can actually push water back up under your roofline and under your shingles where it can damage the plywood. Over time, the damage will slowly get worse until you have water leaking into your home. By which time you are looking at costly roof repairs, interior repair to the drywall, and that’s not including the new paint job for your ceiling.
When rain hits your roof the water builds up speed as it runs down and creates a powerful surge that can pound the ground next to your foundation. This will cause water to pool around your home, increasing the risk of a cracked foundation, basement leaks. Damage to your foundation can cause shifting and settling which can lead to uneven floors and doors that won’t shut properly. To replace a cracked foundation you are looking at a whopping $2,000 – $10,000
When water pools around your foundation it can seep into existing cracks. In our climate, the freezing and thawing we experience in the spring could spell disaster for your foundation and your basement. Always make sure that rainwater is being ejected away from your foundation. Basement flooding can cost you a lot more than just repairs. It can cause damage or even destroy everything you have stored down there.
If you read our previous blog on mosquito control, then you know that standing water in gutters is bad. It doesn’t take much water for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Mosquitoes aren’t the only pests attracted to clogged gutters. Leaf debris could make a great winter home for mice, squirrels, and rats who could easily make their way into your home.
Fascia is the board that holds the support for your gutters. These fragile boards aren’t meant to hold that much weight. When the water in gutters freeze, the added strain is too much and causes your gutters to rip away from the fascia. This can expose untreated wood and beams to the weather and lead to even more problems. Replacing your fascia can run you anywhere from $600 to $6,000.
Erosion of Flower Beds
When gutters get clogged it’s almost like having no gutters at all. Rainwater will pour over the edge and down into your flower beds below. The soft soil of gardens is easily eroded away and can wash out your flowers and vegetables.
Extend Gutter Lifespan
Gutters are simple devices that aren’t meant to take too much damage. But under the immense weight of ice and water, they can bend, twist, and pull away from your home. Gutters have an average lifespan of 30-50 years if they are maintained properly. The simple task of just checking on them twice a year can save you between $600 and $1,500. Why take the risk?