Why Should You Use a Gutter Cleaning Service?
Gutters are a part of a property that is often forgotten about, despite playing a vital role in supporting and maintaining the integrity of a building. In wet weather, gutters collect the rainwater that runs down the roof of your property and guide this water away from it, allowing it to properly drain.
If rainwater does not drain properly, then this can cause minor to extensive damage to your property. This is why it is important to have your gutters regularly checked and cleaned; if you don’t, then there are many issues that could occur resulting in a blockage, which leads to damage.
This can be tricky and potentially unsafe to do yourself, which is why it’s worth employing the help of a gutter cleaning service. Keep reading to see the issues that can occur as a result of unclean gutters and why it is a good idea to have your gutters cleaned by professionals.
When guttering is left unkempt and unchecked, there are multiple issues that can arise as a result. Listed below are some of the most common causative factors for inefficient gutters.
1 | Debris
Over time, your gutters are prone to homing a build-up of debris due to their deep, rounded shape. By debris, we mean predominantly natural materials, such as moss, leaves, twigs etc. This happens for a number of reasons, it could be the wind blowing these into your gutter, or perhaps a bird dropping them as it flies overhead your house.
This is particularly common throughout the transition of autumn into winter, when all the deciduous trees lose their leaves. Leaves are one of the biggest culprits, in fact, to a blocked gutter, considering that they are often at the right height to land directly in them.
As well as natural debris, litter can also make its way into your gutters, though this is more likely to be seen in places where littering is perhaps more likely (such as a school) and on buildings whereby different levels that protrude out from the main building feature their own guttering.
As debris builds up in your gutters, it can cause a blockage, which will prevent water from draining as efficiently as it should, if at all - in which case it is likely to end up overflowing and spilling over the sides of your gutters.
2 | Pests
When debris builds up in your gutters, it provides an enticing home for various kinds of pests. Mice in particular are the perfect size to comfortably settle in your gutters, using any leaves and moss that is there to create a nest for shelter from the elements.
Birds are other unwanted guests that will quite happily live rent free in your gutters. For smaller birds in particular, gutters provide a high-up, somewhat sheltered space to build their nests and they will often build upon any twigs and moss that already lay there.
3 | Plants
Believe it or not, plants can organically begin to grow in your gutters if the conditions are right. When organic material breaks down in your gutters, it can become a fertile compost that nurtures airborne spores and seeds into growth. With the sunlight and fresh rainwater that these will then receive, plants are able to thrive in your gutters, especially if you leave them be.
Overtime, this can get so out of hand to the point that you have a whole gutter garden, especially if the existing plants then spread their seeds along.
Although the presence of any of these causative factors isn’t immediately damaging, the longer they are left the more likely it is that they will have damaging effects on your roof, guttering and property.
When a blockage of any kind is present in your gutters, then this can lead to certain issues that then have the potential to cause extensive damage.
Firstly, a blocked gutter can lead to a build up of water; since this water is unable to drain properly down the full length of the gutter, then it will collect in one spot to the point that it will overflow and spill over the sides. The issue with this is that it is likely to not only spill over the side away from your house, but the side closest to your house also. In such cases, it is likely that you would then experience water damage to your property.
When water is not being effectively steered away from your home, as it should be, then it can rot your fascia boards, which then makes it easier for water to get into your property elsewhere (such as your roof or walls). When water gets into your property then it is likely to cause damp, which would lead to mould and mildew if not rectified and treated efficiently, as well as potentially affecting the stability of your house and roof structure if left untreated for too long.
In the case that your gutter becomes home to rodents, such as mice, this brings with it its own set of problems. When mice are living in your gutter, it is likely that they will make their way into your home through any gaps or holes, or simply through their tendency to chew through wood. Though this may not pose a huge issue for you initially, it will lead to bigger problems when any mice in your gutter are breeding, resulting in a full blown pest problem.
Mice in the house can leave droppings, chew through structures and wires, eat your food and leave fleas and/or disease in their wake. This would then cost you money by having to call in pest control, which could otherwise be saved if you regularly have your gutters checked and cleaned.
As well as leaving droppings in the house, your gutters would also be filled with dirt and droppings, resulting in a layer of grime that would need to be cleaned.
Lastly, when build-up becomes too heavy, or a bird is nesting in your gutters, then this excess weight can cause your gutters to crack or even break. If this does happen, you would need to get a gutter replacement, as cracks and breaks mean water will either leak or drain ineffectively from your gutters, leading to water damage in your property.
Roof and Gutter Cleaning
To avoid all the potential issues mentioned above, it is important to have your gutters regularly checked and cleaned. As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended to do this annually, either after Autumn or before the Spring when it is likely any debris will be most abundant and to avoid them becoming clogged again within a matter of weeks. However, if there are many trees nearby your home or above your gutters, then it may be worth doing this biannually.
Why Hire a Professional?
As tempting as it may be to save a few coins by climbing up a ladder and cleaning your gutters yourself, this can be incredibly dangerous, especially if you are not properly trained or have anyone to steady the ladder at the bottom and spot you. This becomes even more dangerous when you then attempt to juggle any equipment that you would use to clean your gutters.
Professional gutter cleaners will have had briefing, training and experience in working at such heights and completing gutter cleaning safely and efficiently. They will also know the correct method and techniques to quickly and effectively clean your gutters.
Typically, professional gutter cleaners will start by removing any noticeable debris from the downpipe, then using a gutter trowel to gather debris in the gutters and transfer all this into a bucket. Once all noticeable debris has been removed, they will flush out the gutter and downpipe to remove any excess dirt and grime that is too stubborn to remove by hand. This final step also offers reassurance that the gutters are draining as they should, indicating to them that there is still an issue that needs to be tackled if they are not.
Another benefit to having your gutters cleaned by professionals is that they are able to identify any issues that you may have with your gutters, such as cracks or corrosion or any other factors that may pose a problem or cause further issues in the future, and they will be able to advise you on what would need to be done to rectify this.
House Roofing Company
If you haven’t had your gutters checked in the past year or ever, get them inspected and cleaned today with Probuild Contracts. Our team will carry out a full, professional clean at an affordable, competitive price.
Being professional roof contractors, we are able to provide a number of other services, including gutter replacement, roofing repairs and much more.
Contact us today to discuss what we can do for you. We offer our services to everyone in Edinburgh and the surrounding area.