Cleaning Your Gutters. A Simple Chore that Could Save You Thousands. By Edgar M. Roberts, Jr. - NC Licensed Home Inspector, owner of Altamont Inspections, LLC.
When I was a kid, one of the most dreaded chores around the Roberts house was cleaning the gutters. Back then I didn't know why it was so important to dig out every soggy leaf or pluck out every stuck twig, I just knew Dad said, "Grab a ladder and get to it!" Now I know why. Having clean gutters is a homeowner's best defense against serious water damage.
Most homeowners know that gutters catch rainwater runoff from the roof and route it away from the house, but many don't know why that's necessary. Water is one of a home's worst enemies. If clogged gutters keep water from being properly channeled away, the water spills over the gutter, damages the fascia and soffits and seeps into the home's structure. Once inside, water can cause walls and floors to warp, mold and mildew to form, door and window frames to swell and decay and provide pests with a direct entryway. Outside, misrouted water can cause leaking basements, cracked foundations, sagging driveways and damage to landscaping. Luckily, prevention is simple. Keep your gutters clean.
Here are some sure signs your gutters need cleaning:
* Water spills over the gutter edges when it rains * You can see little weeds sprouting in the gutter
* The gutter edges are dark or discolored (caused by overflowing rainwater)
When tending to your gutters, be sure your downspouts funnel water well away from your house. If necessary, add downspout extenders that carry the water away from the foundation. Also consider using splash blocks. They should be slightly sloped and extend at least four feet away from your house.
Gutter cleaning may never be a glamorous job, but its one that certainly deserves more respect.
Edgar M. Roberts, Jr. is a North Carolina Licensed Home Inspector. As owner of Altamont Inspections, LLC, Mr. Roberts provides home inspections, radon gas testing and water testing for home buyers, sellers and owners in the Asheville, Hendersonville and Lake Lure areas. Visit www.AltamontInspections.com to learn more about his home inspection service.