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The 8 Hidden Damages Clogged Gutters Bring (Part 1)May 12th, 2015
Clean your gutters. Regularly! We can’t say this often enough (and we say it in almost every blog post), but neglecting your gutter system and leaving it clogged leads only to dark and unwanted paths. And we don’t talk only about your facade. Unattended gutters can bring up to costly damage to your home. But you’ve most probably heard that one before. That’s why we decided to make a list of the eight most common dangers your home is prone to if you don’t clean your gutters.
The Problem: Water leaks through the gutter system and falls directly on the ground instead of going in the downspout. Doesn’t matter if your gutters are made of PVC or galvanized steel, it can and will happen sooner or later. It can be leaking through small holes or cracks, but most often it leaks through the joints connecting the different parts.
The Reason: Rust is the most common villain in this situation. If the gutters aren’t cleaned regularly, the leaves and sticks trapped inside hold some amount of water with them. The water then causes the gutter (if it is metal) to rust, thus creating cracks and even holes in the system. The older your gutter system is, the more prone to corrosion and rust it is. Another reason for leaking may be a poorly installed gutter system. If the gutter isn’t seamless and the joints aren’t connected properly, water will pass through.
The Solution: Prevention is your best tool. Clean your gutters regularly, make sure the joints are connected properly and paint your gutters every few years to protect them from rust. If the problem already occurred, don’t be quick on replacing the whole system. If it is a problem with the joints, just de-install them and connect them properly. If the joint part is damaged, replace it. If you feel it is too loose, apply roof and gutter sealant.
There is a repair solution for cracks and holes as well. Make sure you clean the place around the issue really well. If there is rust, rub it off with an emery cloth. Just be careful not to further increase the crack. Then, if it is only a minute crack, apply the gutter sealant. If it is a hole, you must find a patch made of the same material and install it. If the whole is larger than a couple of centimetres, a new gutter part should be installed as the current one is damaged beyond repair.
The Problem: Your roof leaks. It is unpleasant, it makes the attic smelly and it forms mould all over it. The main function of the roof is to not let water pass in your home. If it leaks, then you have a very serious issue. There is even a risk of compromising the structural integrity of the building itself.
The Reason: If your gutter is blocked and water can not drain, sometimes it will find a way through the shingles. During cold weather that water will freeze. Ice has a bigger volume than water, so it will expand, giving more pressure to the surrounding roof. Ice is also heavier and that extra weight can even collapse the roof.
The Solution: If you detect your roof is leaking you should fix the problem immediately! A small leak can lead into a big mess really quick. If it is a damaged shingle you should replace it, if it is something more serious we recommend calling in specialists. If you’re not sure what you are doing on your roof you risk of increasing the problem instead of fixing it.
The Problem: Instead of the attic, this time the basement is flooded with excessive rainwater. This can lead to serious headaches such as gas leak, electrical shock, and pollutants in your home. Not to mention it leaves it unusable. Flooded basement should not be taken lightly.
The Reason: The downspout’s purpose is to direct the rainwater away from the building. If it is malfunctioning or clogged, this water may be pouring over your basement window or other vulnerable spots of your cellar. If there are some cracks, the water will find them and further deepen them.
The Solution: If the basement leaked once, it will leak again. It is very hard to repair it as it requires digging a trench around it and isolating it all over. If you detect a leak you should turn off all electrical and gas-consuming appliances first thing. Next step is to unclog your downspout, so at least the rainwater that falls over the roof doesn’t get inside the basement. Try to locate the exact source of the flooding and if it is minor enough, fill it in with waterproof material. If it’s a bigger issue, man up and start digging.
The Problem: Some houses have wooden foundations. Others` roofs use wooden base. If you have malfunctioning gutters that feed water to that wood, it will rot. This means a risk of damaging the whole structure of the house, not to mention damaging the wood irreversibly.
The Reason: Water, in moderate quantity, helps decaying fungus that feeds on wood to strive. This means it will rot in a timely fashion and you will be left with a serious woe. Rotted wood breaks easily, might collapse if it’s carrying any pressure on it and it simply doesn’t look good. It even smells funny.
The Solution: If it is not too much of a hustle, it’s best if you change the wood. But sometimes this option is too expensive or unconventional. Instead you can repair the damaged part. Epoxy raisins are your best friend for that. You just have to find the rot, remove it, and fill the hollows with epoxy. A bit of sandpapering and painting and the wood will be like brand new.