How often do you clean your home’s gutters? Do they become full of leaves and debris every year in the fall? Do you check them after rainstorms and other inclement weather? Did you know that packed gutters can prove fatal to your home’s foundation?
It may seem incredible, but something as simple as a clogged gutter system can damage your home to the point where you need major foundation repair. Not only can dirty gutters cause foundation problems, but you might also experience flooding and destruction of property during the next rain storm.
Your foundation relies upon packed ground to remain steady. If your gutters are full, and water from the roof falls onto the ground right next to the house, the soil around your home could erode away and weaken your home’s foundation.
Little by little, your home’s foundation would wear away and crack and lead to dangers like leaks, flooding, and the eventual collapse of your entire house, in the most severe cases. Water damage and the resulting erosion is an insidious type of damage, but clean gutters help eliminate the danger.
As rain seeps into the ground around your home and weakens the foundation, you’ll start to see an increase in the level of humidity in the home. In geographical locations where homes have basements, that means damp walls and mold growth throughout the basement.
In areas where basements aren’t common, the mold may grow on the exterior of the house, in the crawlspace under the house (if one exists), and anywhere in the home that doesn’t have enough ventilation. Mold can become toxic to your family and cause significant health problems.
Take a look at the warranty for your foundation (if you have one). You might see paragraphs in the warranty that include language about the gutters to your house. If you don’t keep them clean, and the foundation is destroyed as a result, your warranty could become void.
A foundation warranty might cover serious damage (it varies from policy to policy), but damage from the gutters may not be covered. It’s easy for a claims adjuster to trace damage to full gutters, which means you can’t clean the gutters after the damage has already occurred and expect the warranty to remain valid.
Your gutters might not look like a significant part of your home, but they provide an invaluable service in making sure water isn’t allowed to create dangerous puddles around your foundation.
If you’re a homeowner who enjoys taking care of his or her home, cleaning the gutters should become a seasonal project. However, paying a local service to clean the gutters is a small price to pay for a dry and sturdy foundation.