Most of the time, gutters don’t really register in our minds as something that’s particularly important. They’re just there. They sit on the edges of our roofs and funnel water down to the drain pipes. Seems like pretty basic stuff most of the time and we can be lulled into a sense of complacency; water falls on the roof, flows into the gutters and runs off down our drainpipe to the drainage system underground.
But when gutters get blocked by stuff like vegetation and dirt, mud and water that whole system can break down. Roofs and gutters are designed to keep funnel water as quickly as possible away from the property, so when something happens to stop that process, problems occur. Water is corrosive, and so standing water can root the roof and cause major and expensive problems to your house.
So how do we know whether our gutters are blocked by gunk and debris and needs to be cleaned? Here are some simple ways:
Are your gutters overflowing?
This isn’t a failsafe system, because in a major downpour your gutters will fill up naturally with water and overflow the side, so take more notice of this during a normal rain event. If the rain isn’t teeming down, yet the gutters are still overflowing and the waters are sloshing over the sides, there may be something causing the water to accumulate.
Are your gutters sagging away from your roof?
Sometimes we don’t realize how heavy water is, and when vegetation and dirt is water laden, they too become very heavy. Gutters aren’t designed to carry much weight for long periods of time. They are designed to move water onwards, but when the water remains, either as standing pools or as water saturated vegetation or mud, this can cause the gutters to buckle and begin to separate from the roof.
Are there puddles at your foundation?
If your gutters are overflowing, that water has to go somewhere, and it isn’t going where it is supposed to go. Instead, it might be flowing down your walls and pooling at the foundations of your house. This can cause serious problems, as the water can erode the soil and ground away the foundations, leaving them open to the environment. Also, the eroding ground might shift, causing cracks to form in your foundations. Noticing water pooling at your foundations before it can cause the ground to erode might save you a lot of money on foundation repairs.
Are there plants forming in your gutters?
As anyone who went through school knows, plants need sun, water and soil to grow. Therefore, if you notice plants growing in your gutters, there must be sun, water and soil available to it. Obviously, the sun isn’t the issue here; it’s the water and soil, which as we’ve already stated, is not something you want in your gutters due to the added weight and strain in causes on your gutter.
Are birds, rodents and insects visiting your gutters more than you’d expect?
If your gutters are blocked by vegetation, soil and water, not only might plants form in that concoction, animals, birds and insects might be attracted to it as well. Little animals like rodents see the mix of warm vegetation in a confined spot as a safe place from predators; birds see the vegetation and twigs as a great place for nesting material, and insects like mosquitos are attracted to standing water. If you see these creatures regularly around your gutters, there might be something you need to check on.
All it takes is a little time and experience working at heights to clean your gutters. Unless you really know what you are doing, you should have professional gutter cleaners like those from gutter cleaning Omaha, come in and clean your gutters for you.