6 Signs of Trouble: Why Your Gutter Sometimes Needs a Thorough Cleaning

Published On: November 16, 20211 Comment on 6 Signs of Trouble: Why Your Gutter Sometimes Needs a Thorough CleaningTags: Last Updated: February 3, 20247.7 min read

Water damage doesn’t happen because of leaks inside the home alone, and many exterior problems are the culprits. A task as simple as cleaning the gutters stops serious moisture damage on the property’s exterior, and it helps owners maintain their siding and protect their foundation and basement. Clogged gutters cause discoloration on the siding and create a breeding ground for algae, mold, mildew, and unwanted pests. Standing water creates a full array of problems for owners, and a simple solution protects the home and all building materials.

Why Your Gutter Sometimes Needs a Thorough Cleaning

Professional gutter cleaning involves the manual removal of all debris in the channels and pressure washing. Technicians scrub and sanitize the channels and sections of the installations. They treat all areas where debris accumulated. If they see any signs of damage, they report it to the property owner. Squeaky-clean gutters help owners find damaged spaces faster and give them a chance to contact their insurance carrier in an adequate time.

You Don’t Know How Long Ago You Cleaned the Gutters

The average American cleanses their gutters once a year, typically in the spring or early winter. At these times, all the leaves have fallen and won’t collect inside them. Most manufacturers recommend flushing out and sanitizing the gutters at least once every six months. If there are several trees on the property, the producers suggest following maintenance steps up to four times a year.

Falling leaves and twigs are common reasons for clogs in the gutter systems and stop water from flowing as expected. Gutters are connected to lines that lead to a downspout. If there is debris in the rain spout or these water pipes, water backs up into the gutters and creates structural defects and environmental hazards such as mold and mildew. Most homeowners do not inspect their gutters frequently, so blockages go unnoticed, and the gutters become damaged. With professional Gutter Cleaning at regular intervals, owners mitigate the risk of property imperfections and maintain the structural integrity of their homes.

The Gutters Are Sagging

Sections where the gutters look weighted down and fall out of alignment show clear signs of damage. The volume of water in the gutters creates a disproportion of mass, causing the material to give and making them slump. Just because the gutters have a weak spot doesn’t mean they are irreparable. It means that water isn’t flowing out of the gutters, and as it rains, more precipitation adds to more heaviness until the gutters break.

If there are no signs of cracking or damage, the owner cleans the gutters and examines the inside of the products. After all leaves, twigs, and debris are gone, they can see if there are any places in the products that need repairs. Sometimes, when there is a sagging section, the gutters just need to be forced back into position and new brackets added to support them. When there are broken sections, the owner must set up repairs or install a new section to restore the proper drainage. Most gutter products are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. Owners with a valid warranty contact the manufacturer for coverage for repairs or replacement services.

Pests or Birds At the Edge of the Roofing

In the spring, the chirping of a new life outside the home is welcoming for most homeowners. Many set up birdhouses and feeders every year just to catch a glimpse of feathered friends and their offspring. However, birds and pests who come along in these early months become nuisances for owners maintaining their roofing or gutter systems. Studies show that starlings and sparrows love to build nests within the roofing. If they find loose roofing materials, the birds break through any access point to set up a nest and procreate. Many of the birds end up traveling outward to the interior of the gutters. Water won’t flow away from the home in the gutters with a nest full of hatchlings.

Spring and summer pests such as mosquitoes populate areas with standing water. If there is a clog, the gutters give them a place to lay eggs and create a breeding ground for unwanted insects. A homeowner who doesn’t keep the installation clear of debris accumulates enough water in the channel that insect eggs go undisturbed. The next thing the owner knows, there are swarms of mosquitoes outside their home. The life cycle of these insects is complete in eight days, and the unwanted guests come in large batches per reproductive cycle.

Stains on the Siding and Around the Gutters

Standing water inside the sections causes damage around the fascia, soffit, and surrounding materials. The cause of standing water is dirty gutters and excessive debris. The season determines what debris accumulates in the gutter system. With summer, the culprit is plants that became trapped. In spring, nests from birds or other pests block the path. In the winter, snow falls into the sections and won’t move until it melts. Fall leaves don’t stop shedding until trees are bare.

Before the owner addresses the issue, they must find out why water remains in the gutters. Discoloration that is green is often algae, mold, or mildew that developed in moist conditions. The only solution is to remove the obstruction and block anything that creates a new clog later. Gutter guards let water roll from the roofing into the gutters and stop other debris from getting inside. Homeowners can review the cost of the products and contact a contractor to set up the new installation at their leisure.

Why Your Gutter Sometimes Needs a Thorough Cleaning - gutter blower

Water Is Leaking Out Of or Flowing Over the Top of the Gutters

Overflowing gutters is a sign of a clog somewhere inside the system. Each time a professional cleans the gutters, they flush out the channels, connecting pipes, and the downspout. Even the most minuscule debris anywhere in the can lead to blocking water from flowing into the sections through the pipes, out of the spout, and away from the property. Flooding from any exterior home products finds its way to the basement and foundation. Moisture and standing water at lower levels of the property cause structural shifts, cracks in the concrete, and wood rot of the framing and support beams. Dampness underneath the home is a major concern for homeowners. It can increase the risk of mold, especially black mold that is toxic.

Once mold sets in at these areas of the property, it spreads to the floors, walls, ceiling, and roof. The entire property could become infested with mold quickly and with little warning. Professional mold remediation is costly for owners, even if they have coverage through homeowner’s insurance. Worst yet, if they do not find it quickly, their insurance carrier may deny the claim. Owners mitigate the problems by removing debris from the gutters. By reviewing all plants such as trees nearby the home, they learn what debris will fall into the gutters. Tree debris isn’t just leaves, it depends on the species of the trees. Needles and cones of differing varieties find their way into the gutter sections, too.

Pine, fir, and cypress trees cause the most debris accumulation and affect the installations negatively. The needles and cones don’t detach from the trees in one specific season, but they fall off throughout the year. Some experts recommend moving trees when possible to cut down on the natural waste deposits in the systems. By cleaning and maintaining the gutters, the owner avoids these developments and protects their home and all their installations.

Plants Growing Out of the Gutters

Oak trees are a popular choice for landscaping and add balance to a property’s exterior. However, the trees have acorns that detach frequently due to natural processes and the furry squirrels that eat them. As the seeds fall from the trees, they don’t fall onto the ground alone. When cleaning out gutters, acorns become a major problem for two reasons. First, they block the flow of water out of the sections and channels. Second, acorns are seeds from which trees grow, and they will sprout if left undisturbed. Whirlybirds or maple and ash tree seeds are other culprits for plant life thriving in the systems. Even if the owner doesn’t have a white maple or green ash tree on their property, the seeds could end up in these sections if the trees are in neighboring properties or wooded areas near the home. Professional cleaning services get rid of seeds and stop plants from growing in the installations.

Home maintenance involves routine cleaning services inside and out. It’s not enough to clean the interior, rake leaves, and mow the lawn. Pressure washing the exterior and the gutters remove debris and particles that cause property damage. Channels inside the gutter systems collect everything from leaves and dirt to cones and pine needles. With professional cleaning services, technicians pull all the natural debris from the sections and inspect the gutters for common signs of damage. Sagging and breaks indicate that water is trapped in the channels and weighing them down. By setting up the expert washing services, homeowners protect the installations and reduce the risk of water damage in and out of their homes.

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Leave A Comment

  1. Victoria Addington November 21, 2023 at 9:12 pm

    I like that you mentioned that damage is evident if you see areas where the gutters appear to be weighted down. I’ll share this with my father for sure because he commented that our gutters have been a touch out of line. Since I believe it would be best to replace ours, I’ll also look into gutter system installation services that may be of assistance to us.

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