Clog: What an unattractive word!
Aside from sounding downright clunky, it’s associated with a number of nasty situations: clogged toilets, clogged drains, clogged fuel pipes, and perhaps most dastardly of all, clogged gutters.
Take it from a gutter installation company: You don’t want to be dealing with these. At all. Clamoring up to remove them in between gutter cleanings is a nuisance on its own, but these gutter malfunctions can do a lot more damage than causing undue stress on your day off.
In fact, clogged gutters can downright wreak havoc on your home if left unchecked.
Clogged Gutters Set the Stage for Mosquito Growth
You certainly don’t want to be fending off what some call Minnesota’s second state bird during peaceful summer nights. Plus, mosquitos are known to carry diseases, such as West Nile Virus, that can seriously impact your health. Talk about a summertime downer!
Clogged gutters make your home prime real estate for these biting nuisances, as they can create standing puddles of water that remain relatively undisturbed, being off the ground. These pools are the perfect space for mosquitos to set up shop, as their larvae need this quiet water to grow into adults.
Do you want to enjoy your yard without a nice tattoo of red welts as a result? Then make sure your gutters are free of clogs.
Clogged Gutters Lead to Ice Dams
Most Minnesotans are aware of the local wintertime nuisance known as the ice dam. If not, check out our blog on ice dam removal to learn all about them.
In short, they’re a buildup of ice on your roof that eventually prevents meltwater from flowing down into your gutters and being disposed of safely. That water puddles on your roof, seeping beneath your shingles and causing both moisture damage and, potentially, mold growth.
When gutters are clogged with debris, water from your roof cannot flow through them as efficiently, increasing the likelihood that that water will freeze and contribute to ice-dam formation. To prevent your home’s falling apart in the dead of winter or requiring hefty work from a roofing contractor in the spring, make sure your gutters can do their job properly by keeping them clean and clog-free.
Clogged Gutters Damage Your Foundation
Even though your gutters are probably pretty far away from your foundation (the latter is often subterranean, after all!), illy-directed rainwater can still take its toll on the very thing that keeps your home standing.
Gutters’ sole job is to keep water away from the foundation and the surrounding soil. If overflow occurs due to a clog, your home will endure strain that it’s likely not constructed to handle. While a little water is nothing to worry about, over time, a seriously clogged gutter system can cause enough damage to even crack the foundation itself, resulting in quite an unsafe situation!
Keeping your gutters clog-free isn’t just a matter of practicality; it can be a matter of ensuring the health of your home and your family.
What to Do About Gutter Clogs
Indeed, clogs can be quite damaging to many areas of your home, and even to your health! It’s paramount that you prevent these nuisances before they overrun your gutter system.
Keeping your gutters clog-free is quite simple with the right maintenance—and with buying the right gutter system in the first place.
Invest in Seamless Gutters
Traditional gutters—also known as sectional gutters—are made up of interlocking parts, and the seams these gutters possess are the perfect places for debris to get caught and make the clogs you most certainly don’t crave.
Seamless gutters, on the other hand, are custom-cut to fit your home and have fewer clog-collecting seams.
They also come with a host of other benefits, which you can read about in this blog about seamless gutters.
Consider Gutter Guards
These gutter protection systems are designed to keep larger chunks of debris out of your gutters, drastically decreasing the likelihood you’ll experience clogs. As a bonus, they also mean that you’ll need to clean your gutters far less frequently!
Just make sure now and again that the gutter guards themselves aren’t obscured by leaves and the like; this will make sure they can serve their intended purpose.
We talk more about gutter guards in our blog, so check it out for the full scoop.
Clean Your Gutters Every Season
Though most people clean their gutters in the fall, there’s no harm in getting up there more frequently, at least to make sure that everything is working as it should be. For example, you might find yourself unable to rid your gutters completely of snow during the winter months, but you can still inspect them to make sure they’re clog-free and functioning.
But how often should you clean your gutters, really? That varies depending on the climate and whether or not you’ve got the gutter guards we’ve previously talked about. The Family Handyman recommends that you do so a minimum of once a year, but more frequent cleanings will never hurt—and can actually be beneficial if your yard is particularly leafy.
You’ll also need to clean your gutters more frequently if you have certain species of trees that shed seeds in the spring.
Keep Your Gutters in Good Repair
By nature, gutters are particularly good at moving water. But if they become misshapen as a result of hail damage, for instance, water and debris can puddle and clog in the resulting pockmarks.
Similarly, if your gutters begin to crack, the ridges can catch passing leaves, potentially resulting in a snowball effect that eventually leads to overflow. Alongside your frequent cleanings, we recommend checking over the entire system while you’re at it, then get your gutter installer out to the property ASAP if you’re in need of a replacement.
When your gutters get to that point, they probably are functioning at a fraction of their capacity—and giving you a fraction of the defense you need. Storm damage, too, warrants immediate attention.
Trim Back Your Trees
Sure, it makes your lawn look lovely, but proper arboreal maintenance has a number of additional benefits, too, and many of those benefits deal with your gutter system.
For one, if branches are kept far from your gutter installation, they’ll be less likely to shed their leaves into them in the autumn months. This makes your maintenance easier, which helps prevent clogs on its own, but it also removes the clog-causing debris from the equation in the first place.
Indeed, if you’re invested in the health of your gutter system, this maintenance task ranks right up there next to cleaning in terms of importance.
On top of that, it helps to keep animals away from your home. Any number of critters can take up residence in your gutter system; we detail them in our blog on the subject.
Trees make it easy as ABC for a wayward critter to clamber into the safe, enclosed space that is your gutter system and proceed to take up rent-free residence. Their nests and excrement mean clogs are a given.
CONTACT MIDWEST EXTERIORS MN FOR TOP-NOTCH GUTTER INSTALLERS NEAR YOU
Our Lake Elmo team is ready to give your home the gutter upgrade it deserves. Stay safe from ice dams and cracked foundations alike this season and give us a call at 651-346-9477.