Homeownership comes with a lot of must-do tasks, and cleaning the gutters is one of them. A lot of homeowners neglect this task. After all, the gutters are up on the roof and out of sight, so the idea of cleaning them may not cross your mind that often. But failing to clean your gutters can have some pretty terrible consequences. Here's a look.
In the winter, your gutters are meant to catch liquid water and drain it from the roof. Snow on the roof is always melting whenever the temperature rises or some heat seeps through the roof from inside, so there's a good quantity of water that the gutters need to handle. If they're clogged with debris, the water won't drain out of them. It will build up along the edge of the roof and refreeze, forming what's known as an ice dam. Though it may look pretty with its cascade of icicles, an ice dam can cause substantial damage to your roof. It may work its way under shingles, prying them off the underlayment and leading to leaks.
The ice dams can also push the gutters themselves away from the roof, bending and contorting them. When it warms up again, your gutters may not do their job well – even after you clean them – and you may end up needing to replace them.
Corroded, Damaged Gutters
Even during the warm months, gutters packed with leaves and debris are prone to damage. The debris holds moisture in the gutters rather than letting it drain out. When water sits in the gutters long-term like this, it can lead to corrosion. Most gutters are made from aluminum so they won't rust, but the aluminum will eventually corrode and weaken, leading to leaks and an unattractive appearance.
When the gutters are filled to the brim with water that can't drain, the water will pool up onto the edge of the roof. If it sits there long enough, it may cause the shingles to soften and lose some of their grit. Then it won't be long before you have leaks along the edge of the roof. These roofs are hard to detect from the inside, since they often drip down between the walls. You may not catch the leak until the water damage is substantial.
It's a lot easier to clean your gutters than to deal with ice dams, broken gutters, and leaky roofs. If you're not confidence climbing on a ladder to clean your gutters, hire a roofing company to do it for you.
For more information, visit http://www.empireroofingnm.com or a similar website.
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