How often do you clean your gutters? Do you check your gutters after heavy rainstorms or other types of inclement weather? Cleaning out your gutters may seem like a daunting task, but did you know that clogged gutters can cause extensive and expensive damage to your home’s foundation? Not only that, but it can lead to a variety of other serious problems throughout the home. Here are a few of the problems clogged gutters can cause to the foundation and other components of your home.
The foundation of your home relies on the ground being packed and solid. If the gutters are full of debris and water from the roof can’t properly drain, the only place for it to go is on the ground right next to your house. Over time, the excess water will cause the soil around the house and under the foundation to erode way, weakening the foundation. Gradually, the foundation will wear away and start to crack, leading to a variety of dangers, such as flooding, leaks, and even the possibly home collapse. Erosion resulting from water damage can be extensive, resulting in expensive foundation repairs.
Excess Humidity and Mold
As the rain seeps into the ground around home, weakening the foundation, you will start to notice an increase in the humidity level in your home. Homes that have basements will also develop damp walls, which facilitate mold growth. If your home doesn’t have a basement, mold may appear on the exterior of your home, in the crawl space, and any other area of your home that is not well ventilated. Not only is cleaning and removing mold expensive and time consuming, but mold can also be toxic and cause significant health problems for your family.
The fascia boards that are meant to hold the gutter system in place are typically made from wood. When the gutters are dirty and clogged, the gutter system will eventually fill up with water and cause the fascia boards to deteriorate and rot. If your home has wood siding, a clogged gutter system can also cause the water to overflow out of the gutter system and down the sides of your home, which will eventually weaken and rot the wood. Even if your home has vinyl or aluminum siding, the water from the gutters can seep between the siding and the wood frame, causing widespread damage and weakening your home's structure.
The primary role of a gutter system is to channel the water off of the roof and away from your home's foundation. Unfortunately, one of the most common as well as expensive problems that can result from clogged gutters is a voided builder's warranty. If your home has a foundation warranty through the builder, it may be voided if damage to the foundation is caused by a neglected gutter system. In most situations, a foundation warranty contains language that is directly related to keeping the gutter system clean in order to properly divert the water away from your home. The easiest way to avoid unnecessary and expensive foundation and structural damage is to schedule routine cleanings and inspections of your gutter system.
If you live in or around Ames, Ankeny, or Des Moines, Iowa, Hedrick Construction can help you get the most out of your gutters. Whether you need cleaning, repair, rerouting, gutter covers, or replacement of your entire gutter system, give us a call or contact us online.