Has your board ever said something like this?
“We don’t need to clean up there! I mean, I can’t even see anything in the gutters from where I’m standing.”
It’s a common misconception that gutter cleaning is done solely for cosmetic reasons. But plugged gutters will damage your buildings, increase your exterminator fees and create the potential for health issues. And yes, they will affect the appearance of your building.
When leaves, acorns, debris, pine needles, rodent nests and shingle gravel clog your gutters, here are five problems you may experience:
- Additional Exterminator Charges Due to Pest Invasion: Gutters full of debris are perfect petri dishes that allow mosquitos, birds, mice, insects and squirrels to build an entire ecosystem on your building.
- Mold and Pollen: Human sensitivities to mold and pollen are on the rise, especially among children. Residents will become ill and stay ill until the source is removed, so nip this problem in the bud. Increased medical costs are only a part of the issue.
- Foundation Damage: Full gutters cause water to run over, causing erosion, destroying plants, basement water infiltration and foundation damage.
- Ice Dams: When gutters are full, melting snow on the roof backs up and refreezes, creating ice dams. Ice dams cause dramatic and expensive damage to the roof. Many insurance policies do not cover this
- Siding Damage and Aesthetics: The water that runs over the gutter and behind your siding can literally rot your building from the inside out. It will build in window and door jambs and wall penetrations, even following piping and wire penetrations into the structure.
There’s simply no doubt about it: gutter cleaning should take place annually. The time, effort and money required to perform this simple maintenance job are more than worth it compared to the risks and costs of not keeping your gutters clean.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tosh Tricas, CMCA®, AMS®, PCAM® is the Vice President of Associa OnCall.