How To Clean Rain Gutters and Downspouts
Rooftops cover a lot of square footage and that means they catch a lot of rain water. If all that water just ran off the edge of the roof, it would have some serious implications for the building, the foundation and where the water hits the ground. Rain gutters are mounted at the edge of all downward sloping rooftops to catch all that water and to move it away from the building and the foundation.
Unfortunately, gutters also catch a lot of leaves and debris. The build up of a season's debris can be enough to dam the rain gutter or the downspout causing water to back up against the house. Water standing in the troughs will also shorten the lifespan of gutters.
Essentially, water backs up in the troughs, it then spills over onto fascia boards and the siding. The fascia boards rot faster, which often leads to the rain gutters detaching from the house and sagging. The water that runs down the house can end up flowing behind trim boards around windows and doors and well as into gaps in the siding, brick or stucco on your home. These leaks can rot out walls and damage door and windows. This also creates a potential haven for a variety of pests, including termites. As you can see, keeping water away from the building is a very important way to minimize damage and maintenance expense to one's home.
Once water makes it down the water spout, it still needs to be moved away from your home's foundation. Allowing the water to pool near the foundation can lead to shifting soil and thus cracking in the foundation. It can also undermine the foundation potentially leading to structural damage to a home. Additionally, water that makes its way under your home can result in moisture issues inside your home leading to odor problems, rot and mold.
Rain gutters are lot more important than most people think. So keeping them clear often isn't a priority either. An annual cleaning is all it takes to keep this important system working properly. Although, rain gutters directly under a tree, or that collect an above average amount of debris should be cleaned twice yearly. Before the rainy season but after all the fall foilage has dropped is a good time to undertake this task.
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