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Living Smart: Clogged Gutters

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By Angie Hicks

THE COST OF NEGLECT
You could pay a price if you ignore periodic inspection and cleaning. As one top-rated gutter professional told our researcher: “Gutter prevention is measured in pennies; repairs are measured in dollars.”

Clogged downspouts and gutters cause water to overflow the gutter, which can damage fascia or soffit boards, erode landscaping, or cause a roof leak, which in turn may create additional exterior or interior damage. Fixing these problems can cost you thousands of dollars. Clogged gutters can also be related to pest and rodent infestation.

HIRE OR DIY?
If you clean your gutters, be careful when working from a ladder and don’t forget to clear downspouts, too.

Even if you have gutter guards, you may want to hire a professional. Experts say up to 20 percent of leaves and other material can get through a gutter cover, and that experienced workers may be better at removing and reinstalling the guards.

A professional gutter cleaning should include removal of all leaves and other material from the roof, gutters and downspouts, as well as a check of overall gutter condition and repair of any loose gutter spikes. In addition, the person who does the work should leave your yard clear of debris.

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