When gutters become clogged, water will not be able to properly divert from your home. Instead, water will spill down the side of the gutters, causing a number of different problems, such as foundation damage, structural problems, mold, and basement flooding. When gutters become clogged with debris, water settles until it begins to seep through the roof and walls. As this happens, you will notice leaks inside your home, as well as cracks in the roof due to water.
Over time, leaks will worsen until you remove standing water and clean the gutters. Heavy gutters filled with water and debris can damage ceiling and fascia. If they break, water can enter your home and cause further damage. When gutters are clogged and temperatures drop below freezing, ice causes problems in several ways.
Clogged gutters become heavy and can leave your home. If water has flowed down the gutters to the terrace, driveway or sidewalks, it can freeze and cause a risk of slipping. Gutters are an essential part of your home that can help protect your property and family from water and debris that falls when hit. Dirty gutters not only look bad, but they can damage the roof if there is enough dirt that causes the gutters to sag and separate from the roof.
You can help protect your gutters by investing in rain gutter covers that can help prevent leaves, branches, and other debris from accumulating inside the gutters and causing worsening damage. Another consequence that you may not even realize is that an obstructed gutter can cause the destruction of your driveway and patio. When there is poor drainage, excess water can build up and cause mold to grow in your driveway. In the winter months, water could freeze and turn to ice, causing dangerous slips and falls.
That's why it's imperative to know when and how often to clean gutters to avoid a disaster. If the gutters are made of lower quality materials or if they are allowed to sag long enough, the damage will be excessive and the gutters may need to be replaced or repaired. Leaving aside the impact of clogged gutters in your roof, other damage to your home could include the walls, as the gutters separate from the structure and, as we will see below, its foundations. This doesn't mean you'll never climb a ladder again, although even gutters with the best protections need to be cleaned every two years.
Stains on the lining or on the downspouts and gutters are a telltale sign that the gutters have overflowed due to a blockage. One of the best ways to prevent a basement from flooding is with an effective gutter system that includes aluminum gutter covers. It is important to regularly clean gutters and fix fallen or damaged hangers right after they are detected. Fallen gutters on their own aren't particularly damaging to your property as a whole, but as they begin to move away from your roof, the gutters could come off and bring with them some of the outside of your home.
How often you should clean gutters depends on your climate and the landscape surrounding your home. If you don't have any gutter covers or guards and you have sloped trees on your roof, you'll be more susceptible to gutter clogging problems. For gutter cleaning in Vancouver, where it rains most of the year, you may need to do it more often, especially if your home is next to trees that move frequently. Adding gutter covers to your gutter system can extend the time needed between cleanings, but it won't save you from a basement flood.