6 Dangers Of Clogged Gutters

Posted on: 2 April 2018

Part of owning a home is routine maintenance and cleaning, including outside the home. One commonly overlocked area is the gutter system, which is essential for directing water away from your home. If you've been avoiding cleaning your gutters, there are some serious consequences that may occur. Check out these six common dangers of clogged gutters.

Basement Flooding

When gutters become clogged, the water cannot reach the downspout, which takes the water to the street to drain properly. This causes it to overflow, which causes water to pool around your home. If you have a basement or any sub-ground flooring, you have an increased risk of flooding. This is because all or part of the room sits under the ground. If water gathers around the house, it can seep inside these rooms. Flood damage can be expensive to repair, especially if the room is finished. You'll likely need to replace some drywall and flooring.

Weakened Foundation

Even if your home doesn't flood, standing water from spilled gutters can affect your foundation. While concrete is durable, it is porous, which allows water to seep into it. This can weaken the concrete, and if the water freezes, it expands, causing more damage. Eventually, you may begin to develop cracks or even holes in your foundation. Foundation repair can also be expensive, and failing to correct the issue can lead to serious problems. At the very least, it increases the risk of flooding, but it can also affect your entire home, causing it to slide off the foundation.

Yard Damage

Water is necessary for your yard to stay green and lush. However, too much water, especially standing water, can destroy your yard. Too much water can destroy healthy, established plants. If you have young plants, standing water causes erosion. While older plants fight erosion by holding dirt in place with their massive roots, newly planted flowers, trees, shrubs, and grass are too weak to hold the dirt. The water will simply wash it away, giving the plant no fighting chance to survive.

Roof Damage

Roof damage can also occur if you fail to clean your gutters. Typically, this only affects homes with low slopes in freezing climates. If the gutters become full and freeze, they create a dam. As snow falls on the frozen gutters, it builds the dam higher. When snow starts to melt on the roof, the thick dam prevents it from spilling over the gutters. As a result, standing water forms on your roof. If it seeps into cracks or under shingles and freezes again, it can cause major damage.

Wood Rot

If you have wood on your home, such as siding, shingles, etc., you have additional worries because standing water can quickly deteriorate wood. Water can breakdown the protective covering on wood, and eventually, rot the wood, leading to costly repairs. Another problem with water and wood is bugs. Bugs like rotting wood and water, so when you but the two together, you have a bug paradise. Anytime you attract bugs to the exterior of your home, you increase the risk of letting them inside, where they quickly multiply and thrive in the warm, safe environment.

Physical Hazards

Last, clogged gutters can increase the risk of injuries on your property. If the water spills onto walkways and freezes, it becomes a hazard for anyone visiting your home. While you may be protected from trespassers, guests and visitors (including delivery people) who slip and get hurt may be able to sue you. Depending on where you live, it is your responsibility as the homeowner to remove ice and snow from walkways, so you may likely lose a lawsuit.

If you've noticed water overflowing from your gutters, you need to clean them yourself or hire a professional. Neglecting your gutters can cause major damage to your house and increase the risk of a personal injury lawsuit. If you believe damage may have already occurred to your foundation or another part of your home, contact a contractor at companies like Seagate Roofing and Foundations.