Cleaning your gutters may seem like one of those tasks that you should do but that is not essential, sort of like having your teeth cleaned every six months. You may notice leaves overflowing the gutters, or in some cases, little trees sprouting but still postpone getting out a ladder and tackling the muck. If you do fail to clean your gutters or have them cleaned regularly, you are facing some serious consequences.
Mold and Mildew
Rotting debris in your gutters can allow mold and mildew to thrive. These are dangerous substances that can cause or exacerbate respiratory problems. If someone in your family already suffers from allergies or asthma, you may be contributing to their health problems by failing to clean the gutters.
Clogged gutters make the water run off to the side and often into your home. It can back up onto the roof and penetrate the shingles, causing a leaky roof. The water can also get behind your home's siding, causing the wood to rot. Your windows are particularly susceptible to this problem. Water that is not properly directed away from your home can also cause issues with your foundation. Water can "erode" your foundation and cause it to settle unevenly, leading to cracks and other problems.
You have probably invested money in having your home landscaped. You may have extensive flower beds or shrubbery that surrounds your home. If water is not properly directed away from your house, it can harm or even kill your home's plant life. Overflowing water can also cause lawn erosion, damaging your grass and the general look of your yard.
You need to clean your gutters at least twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. You will need to wear a face mask to avoid inhaling mold, mildew, and dust. Rubber gloves are also suggested. You will need a ladder, a garbage or lawn bag, and something to scoop out the leaves and other debris. After you have removed the muck, you can use a hose to rinse out the gutters and downspout.
If your home has more than one story, you may want to hire a professional to do the job for you. Unless you are strong, healthy, and do not fear heights, gutter cleaning on the third floor is not for you.
If the gutter cleaning routine is too much for you, contact a contractor about installing gutter covers. Your gutters will need much less maintenance if the majority of leaves are screened out by these devices. Otherwise, stick to the twice a year, full cleaning schedule. For more information, contact a company like Mr. Gutter.