What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Gutters?

6 Problems From Unattended Gutters

As far as roofing systems go, not a lot of people pay enough attention to their gutters. We find that most people don’t even consider their drains as part of their roofing systems. Please make no mistake about it; your gutters are essential to your roof’s performance and the protection of your home. 

The fall season has descended upon us in full force, and winter is just around the corner. And for many regions in the United States, that means increase foliage buildup in their gutters. Unfortunately, many people are probably pondering the question ‘what happens if you don’t clean your gutters?’ around this time of year. 

In reality, not cleaning your gutters shouldn’t even be an option. A lot can happen to your roof and your home if you don’t regularly clean your gutters. The team at Roofer’s Guild outlines a few problems that can arise.

1) Rodent and Insect Infestation

When gutters go too long unchecked, they get dirty with foliage and other debris. When they get dirty, clogs form. And it rains while your gutters are clogged, it can cause a lot of problems. One of the most dangerous is insect and rodent infestation. The standing water that can’t drain away from a clogged gutter is a breeding ground for mosquitos. Mosquitoes and other insects that gather around stagnant water is a haven for rodents that eat the insects. Rodent and mosquito presence on your property can be a nuisance at best and a health hazard at worst. 

2) Mold and Mildew

You’re going to read a lot about how clogged water can be a problem in this post. Another way that improper gutter maintenance can affect your home is mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew love eating away at organic material – like dead, decaying leaves stuck in your gutter. And any moisture will only speed up the process of mold and mildew growth. Mold can grow and damage other organic materials in your home – like wood in your roofing substrate. 

3) Lower Story Water Damage 

You may think that perfect seals protect your house’s exterior. However, seams along your home’s perimeter allow water infiltration. When people’s basements, lower garages, and first stories get flooded, the culprit is a clogged gutter. The leaves clog the drainage channels so that water dams up and eventually overflows. The result can cause thousands of dollars of damage.

4) Wasted Landscape Material

This one is more of an annoyance than anything else. But it can also cost you a lot of money if you’ve invested in topsoil, sod, and mulch for your landscape. Heavy rains can easily overflow clogged drains, and all that excess water can wash away your mulch, damage your sod and begin to erode the topsoil. Other concerns include your grass, plants, and flowers. 

5) Freezing Water

Rain, clogged drains, and low temperatures are a recipe for disaster. The dammed-up water that stays in your gutter lines can freeze up in cold weather. Water dams are problematic for several reasons. They can cause your gutters to become overloaded and collapse under the weight of the ice. It can also contribute to ice dams on your roof that can do significant shingle and decking. Freezing and thawing ice can push and expand the gutter material, causing cracks and other damage as well. 

6) Cosmetic Damage

Lastly, freezing and flooding water in gutters can ruin your soffits and fascia. At the very least, this will cause cosmetic damage to the roofline of your home and affect your ventilation and heating/cooling costs at worst. That’s because your soffits and fascia can help ventilate your basement depending on the type you have installed. And repairing or replacing soffits and fascia can be very expensive. 

Don’t Sleep on Your Gutters

It may be hard to consider since your gutters aren’t exactly in plain view every day, but the fact remains that you have to check your gutters and have them cleaned regularly. Cleaning gutters isn’t always fun or safe, so if you need a professional to help maintain your gutters, get in touch with us here at Roofer’s Guild.

At Roofer’s Guild, we are a group of professional, certified, and licensed roofers, and we specialize in connecting homeowners and commercial property owners to these quality roofing companies. Don’t wait to see what happens if you don’t clean your gutters. Get them taken care of today.