The Importance of Gutter Maintenance
Today, we are going to send our minds directly to the gutter—the literal one that runs along our home. You must take the importance of gutter maintenance seriously as you undergo spring cleaning. Here are three reasons why keeping clean gutters matters.
The most important reason to keep your gutters clean and properly aligned is to protect your foundation against seepage. With a well-maintained gutter system, wide-open troughs will collect water and divert it to the downspouts, where it will drain several feet from the foundation of the house, far enough to keep it from saturating the ground nearest to the walls. If the gutters are shallow from debris or the downspout is out of alignment, rainwater will cascade straight down the sides of the house instead. Concrete is a porous material, and eventually, it will absorb groundwater, which can do damage to your basement. This can include cracks in the foundation, mold and mildew growth, and even damage to personal possessions you keep along your basement walls.
Keep Pests Away
The leaves, twigs, and debris that accumulate in your gutters gum up the works and make it harder for water to flow properly. They also offer tremendous hospitality to mice and rats who turn beds of wet leaves into comfortable nests. Even squirrels may see leafy gutters as a worthy cache for snacks and a nice place to rest. After all, Michigan weather can be brutal even for rodents, who will seek warmth and shelter anywhere they can find it. Don’t let your gutters invite unwanted houseguests. Even more undesirable than rodents are wasps, who often use plant matter to construct their pulpy nests and pose a dire threat to anyone who comes too close.
Prevent Wood Damage and Animal Entry
How do you get from a buildup of soggy leaves to a raccoon plodding around above your head? The path is less circuitous than you may think. As clogged gutters harbor standing water, that water damages the soffits, or the wood that runs along the gutters. The compromised structural integrity of the roof opens entry points for rodents to infiltrate the attic. Raccoons can then pry their way in. These consequences attest to the importance of gutter maintenance. Fortunately, simple preemptive cleaning can keep rainwater flowing and ultimately keep critters out.