Watch Gutter Cleaning Video
Don Kennedy, President of ProMaster Home Repair & Handyman of Cincinnati, explains in detail how gutter cleaning is critical for the health of your homeyour home.
Clean Gutters a Must for a Healthy Home
Your home’s gutter, downspout and drainage system are one of the most important items to maintain. A large percentage of water damage we see on our clients’ homes would not occur with a properly functioning gutter system. Therefore, to preserve the health of your home, we first must understand how the gutters shed water away from the home and what happens when we delay gutter cleaning and gutter repairs.
During a rainstorm, a typical residential roof will need to shed hundreds, if not thousands of gallons of water. In wet regions of the country like Ohio, gutters are a mandatory to channel roof runoff safely away from the home. Given that most homes in Cincinnati have basements, failing to channel water away from the soil immediately adjacent to the home’s foundation is an almost certain invitation to a wide range of basement moisture-related problems. Therefore, a properly functioning gutter system is not only essential for preventing damage to the lower portion of the roof, fascia and soffit components, but avoiding other expensive home repairs.
How Gutters Work
Here is how a typical gutter system functions. When water exits the edge of the roof, it drops into a gutter that is either built in to the edge of the roof (i.e. a “box gutter”) or a gutter attached to a board that runs the length of the roof (i.e. a “fascia board”). A properly installed gutter system will also include drip edge to ensure that all the water enters the gutter, instead of leaking out into other areas of the surrounding soffit. Each gutter functions as a trough to collect the water and channel it to toward a downspout. Consequently, each gutter should have sufficient slope toward the downspout to prevent “pooling.”
The gutter downspout typically carries the water to the ground level where it normally enters a drain system. While there are different types of drain systems used in residential construction, they all have the same purpose—to remove water from the soil adjacent to the home’s foundation. Large amounts of water near the foundation can cause a multitude of expensive problems. Some these problems include soil erosion, basement water leaks, sump pump failure, damage to basement walls from hydrostatic pressure, excessive basement and/or crawl space humidity and wood rot.
What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Gutters
Gutters Growing a Garden
Failing to clean your gutters will cause your gutter system to back up—rapidly! Picture in your mind a gutter filled with leaves. Now imagine a rain storm that fills gutter with water. As the water flows toward the downspout, it will begin to carry leaves and debris with it. Quickly, the downspout will become clogged and the water in the gutter will back up.
Clogged Gutter Drain
When water backs up in a gutter filled with debris, several bad things can happen. If the rainfall is sufficient, the gutter will over flow, sending water straight to the ground—eroding soil near the foundation, destroying the landscape below and soaking the soil near the foundation wall causing basement leaks and water damage. Overflowing gutters can also send water back into the soffit—causing wood rot in the fascia area and water damage on the interior of the home as well.
Even if the gutter does not overflow, water pooling in the gutter, combined with a large quantity of leaves will develop into a problem as well. The leaves, sticks and other organic material will break down and combine with the normal asphalt granules that run off of a typical residential roof. This mixture forms a grainy, mud-like sludge that lines the gutters and downspouts. This sludge then works its way into downspouts and drains, completely blocking any further water passage. Often, the only way to resolve such blockage is to dig up the drain and replace it.
Cleaning gutters isn’t an enjoyable task, but neither are most things in life that are necessary to prevent problems. If you are uncomfortable climbing a ladder to clean your gutters, don’t feel bad—you aren’t alone. Most people who don’t work day-to-day in such an environment feel this way. Falls from ladders are one of the most common injuries around the home. Hire a pro and maintain the peace of mind that not only will you be safe, but an expert will be able to inspect the roof, soffits, fascia and gutters for problems that could develop into expensive home repairs later.
To schedule a visit with one of our craftsmen to get your gutters cleaned, simply call (513) 724-0539 or the orange button below. We look forward to serving you!
Call (513) 724-0539