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The Importance of Gutter Cleaning Before Winter

Fran Beaulieu

November 10, 2022

Gutters serve important purposes in your home. Not only do they divert water away from the foundation, but they can also keep landscaping intact by preventing a waterfall from the roof. As we head into the winter months, a residential home improvement project to have on your checklist is cleaning your gutters. Getting this done now can bring you peace of mind throughout the winter no matter how severe the weather elements are. Here are some of the most important reasons to clean your gutters before winter.

Keep Your Roof In Good Shape

When gutters are clogged with debris and leaves, rainwater can’t flow properly. During heavy rainstorms, the water could back up onto the roof and cause potentially serious damage. The wood your gutters are attached to could rot over time. And if water is constantly pooled up on your roof, leaks and wood rot are inevitable. It might not lead to an entire roof replacement, but a quality contractor will need to fix the issue that was easily preventable by cleaning your gutters.

Prevent Water Damage To Your Home

Every home is designed differently, but when gutters aren’t cleaned properly, chances are your home will be vulnerable to water damage. Water is meant to flow down from the roof over the shingles. So when water pools up from the gutters and onto the roof, leaks can occur without you knowing. This is the last thing you want to deal with as you head into the winter months, so take the time to clean your gutters so water can flow properly.

Get Ahead Of Pest Infestations

Leaving your gutters clogged with debris and leaves for too long can cause undesirable pest infestations. Dry leaves typically won’t attract pests, but it only takes one rain to create a perfect spot for them to call home. Rodents, insects, and birds all seem harmless on the surface. However, when they get comfortable in a certain area, they can cause significant damage to your roof, siding, and potentially even get inside your attic. Get ahead of these issues by cleaning your gutters once the fall leaves are down or before it rains on top of the leaves.

Reduce The Chances Of Foundation Damage

What do gutters have to do with protecting your foundation? The first thing a quality home improvement contractor will do when looking at your home is to ensure water is diverted from your foundation. Otherwise, water can pool around the foundation and freeze when it gets cold enough. The expansion of the water when it freezes can crack your foundation and cause some significant and costly problems. Cleaning your gutters is a much cheaper and easier residential home improvement project compared to having your foundation repaired.

Gutters Can Fall With Too Much Weight

Gutters can become dangerous if they have too much debris and leaves in them. You don’t have to clean them every time you see a leaf fall, but you should make it a habit to clean them once or twice during the autumn season. This all depends on how many trees you have around your home. A good practice is to get on your ladder periodically and see if leaves are starting to accumulate so you know when it’s time to clean them out. Leaves themselves aren’t usually heavy enough to cause gutters to pull away from the home and fall, but the added weight of the water can make it happen quickly.

Some people make the mistake of thinking they don’t have to clean their gutters if they have gutter guards on them. While you might be able to reduce the number of times you clean them, they aren’t completely maintenance-free. Small things like acorns, dirt, and even granules from roof shingles can accumulate in gutters. It takes a lot of accumulation to clog the gutters, but the added weight of these items can take a toll on your gutters and put them at risk of falling. When this happens, your property, family, and pets could be in harm’s way.

Should You Clean Gutters Yourself Or Hire A Professional?

Generally, cleaning gutters is a DIY residential home improvement task many homeowners choose to do. If you’re comfortable with getting on a ladder, most of the time all it takes is putting on some gloves and scooping out leaves and debris. Once you get most of the debris out, you can consider spraying your water hose in it to clear out any loose dirt and small objects through the downspout. It’s a project that shouldn’t take more than a few hours, depending on the size of your home. But it’s well worth the time investment when you consider the possible issues created by neglecting this maintenance.

A professional quality contractor might be needed if you have a two-story house or simply don’t like the thought of climbing a ladder. Many homeowners choose to have professional gutter cleaning on a bi-annual basis so they don’t have to think about it.

Beaulieu Home Improvement highly recommends gutters for homes. The maintenance involved in cleaning gutters is minimal when you consider the possible consequences of neglecting them. Our experts can provide you with various options to help reduce the maintenance as much as possible. If you have existing gutters in your home that are not functioning properly, our residential home improvement experts can help. It starts with a free consultation and quote, so contact us today and we will visit your property as soon as possible.

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