Regularly cleaned gutters protect many key components of the home, including the foundation. Unfortunately, the opposite holds true as well. That is, clogged gutters put the foundation at risk. Here's how: As storms come and go, rainwater runs amok, pooling around the base of the home and seeping into the ground, where it exerts intense pressure against the foundation. Over time, as a result of the pressure, the foundation begins to crack, allowing water to enter the basement and cause extensive, expensive-to-repair damage. Worse yet, if the situation goes uncorrected, the foundation may ultimately fail, leaving the home vulnerable to a cave-in or collapse—a catastrophe, in other words.
Mold and Mildew
When gutters malfunction, water cascades over parts of the home that were never designed to withstand exposure to that much moisture. Because they're made of wood—and therefore susceptible to rot—trim elements like windowsills and door jambs are often the first to buckle. Once that happens, it doesn't take long for storm water to find its way into the home. As it infiltrates unseen areas behind walls and beneath flooring, moisture inevitably leads to the growth of mold and mildew. Not merely unsightly (and often quite smelly), mold poses a legitimate health hazard, particularly if anyone in your household suffers from allergies. And though it's possible to get rid of mold, remediation doesn't come cheap—far from it, in fact.
Many factors contribute to curb appeal, but for your home to make a great first impression, few elements matter as much as attractive landscaping. For precisely that reason, owners invest no small amount of money and effort in the plantings around their homes. The irony is that, as much as shrubs, flowers, and other greenery need water to survive, too much water can hasten their demise. Gutters offer protection by preventing overwhelming volumes of water from cascading onto foundation plantings—but only if the gutters are properly maintained. If, however, you allow clogs to render your gutters ineffective, it could take only one heavy storm to compromise or even erode your landscaping.
Everyone knows that many types of insects thrive in stagnant water. In fact, according to experts, mosquito eggs are able to hatch in as little as one tablespoon of water. Think about it: If mosquitoes can multiply anywhere even a tiny amount of water collects, imagine how much insect activity can take place in a clogged gutter. True, most of the time insects are merely annoying. But the damp, decaying environment created by a stopped-up storm drainage system also lures carpenter ants, termites, and other wood-destroying pests. In other words, there's a lot more than personal discomfort on the line. The same conditions that breed mosquitoes can breed significant property damage.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
If they pay attention to their gutters at all, homeowners generally do so only in autumn, even though poorly maintained drainage systems can do more harm in winter than at any other time of year. That's because when it's truly cold outside, water spilling over a clogged gutter doesn't collect into a pool—it freezes. If the freezing occurs over the surface of a driveway or walkway, merely maneuvering around your property becomes a treacherous proposition. By the same token, if gutter overflow freezes before it falls, icicles can form. While a few delicate icicles clinging to the eaves can be picturesque, large, pointy, and unstable chunks of ice can be life-threatening to anyone standing below, and the collective weight of many heavy icicles can actually tear gutters away from the home.
Finally, A Cure for Clogs
In theory, gutters are simple, straightforward components that perform precisely as intended. In reality, though, conventional gutters are dogged by their fundamentally flawed, open-top design. Tired of the hassle and hazards of climbing up a ladder to remove gutter gunk season after season, year after year, many homeowners have embraced the alternative—smart, maintenance-free, get-it-and-forget-it drainage systems like LeafGuard. With a unique, patented hooded design, LeafGuard deflects leaves, twigs, seeds, and other clog-forming debris, letting only water enter the system. That’s why you never need to worry about cleaning LeafGuard gutters; they never get dirty in the first place. Intrigued? To get more information on the LeafGuard—not to mention a free estimate—click here now!
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