Costs of Neglecting Your Gutters
We talk about gutter cleaning, but many still wonder why they should bother with it. Some homeowners would rather leave the gutters alone until the debris is visible or until they see a problem. This could come from the old expression “out of sight, out of mind.” Gutters sit on the edges of your roof, and it is easy to forget them until there is a problem.
However, neglecting your gutters is a huge mistake that could cost you a small fortune. Remember that simple, preventative maintenance is cheap, but repair is expensive. Here is a listing of some of the damage that could result from neglecting to clean your gutters.
The primary purpose of your gutters is to redirect water away from your home’s foundation. Without the gutter system, water will pool around the foundation and seep into the ground. This water can, over time, erode the foundation and find its way into cracks and other imperfections in your home. When cold weather comes in and freezes the water, this causes ice to form, expanding the cracks slightly, and when the water melts in winter, it leaves that space behind.
The process, repeated over the years, can result in severe damage. This is one of the major reasons gutters exist in the first place. Neglecting your gutters can thus cause significant loss and harm to a long-term investment: your home.
If you are like many homeowners, you have invested significant time and resources into making your home beautiful. Flower gardens positioned just below your windows, beautifully manicured hedges, not to mention a well-trimmed lawn. Periodic rains are, of course, suitable for maintaining this natural beauty you have striven to cultivate. However, imagine the damage that overflowing gutters can cause to that. As water comes down in torrents over the edge of your gutter, it may pool in areas close to your home. This could result in your plants drowning, adding in replacement costs, not to mention aesthetic damage. While your plants might enjoy the occasional rain storm, it is unlikely they were meant to be placed under a waterfall.
Remember that water is heavy. You’ve likely taken note of this yourself if you’ve ever left an open garbage bin in the rain. What was once a light can fill with stuff you have no use for starts to feel like a massive burden that you have to tip over and empty to move around. Water in gutters acts the same way. While the occasional baseball or leaves will not weigh down gutters too much, and when functioning correctly, they are unlikely to be weighed down, when they do clog, that water fills up. This extra weight begins to strain as the gutters find themselves with a more significant load than they were initially designed to handle.
Wood rots when exposed to moisture, and rotting wood is weaker than healthy wood. If you leave the water to sit for too long, the weight can eventually cause your gutters to collapse. This becomes even more probable when you consider that gutters are typically nailed to wooden fascia boards. In addition to the costs of replacing the gutters, you may also find yourself having to repair the wood, costing you thousands of dollars in damages.
Ultimately, gutters are not a part of your house to be neglected. They serve a valuable function, which is why they are such a standard fixture on houses all over the nation. Regular maintenance will only cost you a few hundred dollars annually, but gutter and home repair could cost you several thousand dollars all at once. Do not let yourself fall victim to this damage, and instead, endeavour to have your gutters cleaned regularly.