Maintenance is vital for homeowners, from an aesthetic and structural perspective, but gutter cleaning is often done infrequently – or not at all. Gutters play an important role in preventing mildew, mould, and bacterial growth that can lead to a host of problems if not regularly cleaned. Here’s why this is one area of maintenance you don’t want to overlook.
What are the risks of neglecting gutter cleaning?
Beyond looking completely unkempt, your home is not benefitting in a number of ways when you neglect to clean the gutters. The risks include:
1. Water damage
When your gutters are clogged, the rainwater doesn’t disperse efficiently and can collect on the roof. This leads to increased dampness, leaks, and flooding.
Leaves, twigs, dirt and other debris get caught in the gutters, which can cause all sorts of challenges when not attended to quickly.
3. Structural integrity
Gutter blockages can lead to continuous leaks which, if not dealt with effectively, can compromise the structural integrity of your home over time. This is particularly true during floods, when a large volume of water is simply not accommodated by blocked gutters.
4. Health hazards
When your gutters can’t disperse the water, you’re going to suffer from dampness that can cause the growth of mildew, mould and bacteria. If left untreated, your family could suffer from associated health hazards such as respiratory illness or allergies.
5. Pest infestations
Gutters will accumulate leaves, twigs, dirt, and other waste over time which makes the perfect nest for birds, rodents, and insects, and even a breeding ground for mosquitos. These can all be disease carriers bringing further health hazards, while further compromising the home’s structure.
The Benefits of Regular Gutter Cleaning
If you haven’t already been convinced that regular gutter cleaning is important for your home, here are the benefits of this home maintenance routine.
1. Protects home from water damage
The most important reason for cleaning out your gutters is that they do what they’re designed to do, drain water away from your roof and prevent leaks and water damage. Clean gutters mean no mould and mildew build-up, no rotten roof rails, ceilings, walls, floors, and eventually furniture.
2. Extends gutter lifespan
Regular gutter maintenance will also protect the actual gutters themselves from damage and destruction. By cleaning out waste build-up, there’s less chance of corrosion and other challenges related to structural integrity.
3. Minimise fire risk
Finally, the collection of debris in your gutter is a real fire risk during bushfire season. Just one stray ember can cause that kindling to catch alight and threaten your home and all its contents.
When to Schedule Gutter Cleaning
The frequency with which you have to clean your gutters depends on the location of your home, as well as where you live. If you’re surrounded by trees, particularly those that lose leaves in autumn, then this is the season you will need to clean out your gutters. However, late spring is also considered an important time to clean gutters as pollen, flowers, and other plant detritus gets caught in the gutters. As a rule, it’s worth inspecting gutters every three months, but definitely schedule gutter cleaning at least twice a year.
Should you Clean Gutters Yourself?
Cleaning the gutters themselves is not necessarily difficult, but it can be a safety issue. You’re required to climb a ladder and often get on the roof to do the task properly. If there is significant clogging, you might require specialised equipment as well.
If you have any concerns, contact Kleen Genie, Brisbane’s leading home exterior cleaning service. Kleen Genie can take over the regular residential gutter cleaning of your home safely, including a complete and thorough inspection of your roof gutters and gutter guards to ensure there is no damage or need for roof repairs and no risk to your home during storm season.