Gutters are one of the most critical parts of a home, but it can be easy to overlook them. Failing to properly maintain your gutters can lead to problems that can cause serious damage to several other parts of your house. Having your gutters inspected and maintained by professionals on a regular basis can help you avoid much larger repair bills.
Common Gutter Problems
Gutters are supposed to carry water away from the exterior of a house to prevent damage to the building and landscaping. Problems can arise if gutters become clogged with leaves, twigs, pine needles, acorns, pollen or nests.
Even if you don’t have trees near your house, your gutters can still become clogged with leaves. The wind can carry them from other parts of your yard or from your neighbor’s property.
As asphalt shingles deteriorate over time, granules can wind up in gutters. They can trap other forms of debris, such as leaves and twigs, and can contribute to clogs.
If gutters are blocked and cannot handle the amount of rain and melted snow, water can run over the sides of your gutters instead of through the downspouts. Overflowing gutters can cause damage to the roof, siding, foundation, driveway, patio, walkway and landscaping.
If your gutters are clogged, melted snow can refreeze and form ice dams. They can cause outside damage and indoor leaks, and the weight can cause your gutters to come loose or fall down.
If your house has older gutters that are joined at seams, water can collect where the pieces come together. That can make it possible for mold to grow and spread to other parts of the house.
Clogged gutters can allow water to pool around your foundation after a storm. The soil can become saturated, which can increase the pressure on the foundation. That can eventually lead to foundation cracks and leaks in the basement.
Reasons to Hire Gutter Professionals
Gutter contractors have training and experience that can help them spot problems that you might miss. A contractor can check not only the condition and pitch of your gutters, but also the state of the downspouts and fascia. A professional may discover serious problems that can be easy to overlook, such as loose gutter screws, rust, dents and leaks.
Climbing a ladder to inspect your gutters can be dangerous. If you lean too far, you may lose your balance, fall and get injured. Professionals who are used to working with gutters can take appropriate safety measures. They also have the tools that are needed to conduct inspections and perform repairs correctly and safely.
A contractor can assess the condition of your gutters and may recommend repairs or replacement. A professional can also give you advice on how often you should have your gutters inspected.