You may not take much notice of the gutters hanging off the edge of your roof, but you should—the gutter system plays a critical role in protecting your roof and your home. Gutters filled with leaves, shingle granules, and debris can cause clogging and potential damage to your home. As we approach winter, it’s time to add “cleaning the gutters” to your to-do list. Here are some of the reasons clean gutters are so important.
Avoid Roof Leaks
Gutter protection systems help to keep your gutters clean and clear so water can flow freely from the roof to the spouts, and safely away from your home. Without gutter protection, leaves and debris in the gutter can cause water to build up on the edge of the roof that can wear out your shingles and lead to cracks, curls, buckling shingles, and leaks in the roof that are expensive to repair.
Protect Your Foundation and Basement
If you don’t have a gutter protection system on your home, you probably have to deal with gutter dams from twigs, dirt, and granules from roof shingles, which can lead to leaking basements or foundation damage. If gutters cannot safely channel water from the roof away from the home, it often pools at the base of the house and weakens the concrete footings. This can lead to leaks and flooding in the basement, or foundation cracks if you don’t have a basement. This is especially dangerous throughout the freeze-thaw cycle of Winter because water contracts and expands to make cracks and leaks even more severe.
Prevent Slips and Falls
Another reason to clean your gutters is to protect your family and friends. Homes that have water overflowing from the gutters can have excess water on the sidewalks and walkways, leading to slippery conditions. This is especially true in the evenings and nighttime hours, when the temperature is cold and water could freeze.
Protect Your Landscape
One final reason to clean your gutters is to protect your yard. Proper gutter systems channel water to areas of the yard that can absorb it safely, while overflowing gutters can erode the soil and lead to washed out landscaping, especially for newer plants, grass, and trees.
Once they are clean, consider installing a gutter protection system for your home to keep debris out for good.