The function of gutters is a fairly obvious one – they’re here to collect the rain and transport the water safely down to the ground, preventing it from dripping all over your façade. Unfortunately, over time the gutter surrounding your home can start malfunctioning, for various reasons. They can become clogged with debris, and thus stop the water from flowing. The joints can start to leak because the dirt may have gotten into the tiny cracks, or they can simply become rusty over time. They can get damaged over time, as a result of particularly bad weather, or animal activity. Therefore, even though many of us forget about the gutters quite easily and only think of them when problems appear, we should take time to maintain them properly.
It sounds like a lot of effort for something fairly insignificant, because how important it actually is to keep the outside of your home dry? Well, as it turns out, it is one of the most important things when it comes to home maintenance. Here are the biggest issues you can face if you neglect your gutters.
1. Leaky roof
One of the most obvious signs of a malfunctioning gutter is a leaky roof. This happens if the gutters are clogged, and the water can’t move down as it is supposed to. Because of that, it stays on your roof, until it finally starts leaking in. When this happens, some of the water stays on your attic, and some seeps through your ceiling, and that is when you can finally see what’s happening – and by that time, the damage to the roof structure can already be significant.
2. Water damage
When the water enters your home, your real problems are about to start. Water that pools in your attic can spread through the wooden structures in your home, and destroy and make them rot in less time than you’d think is possible. This can affect your entire home, depending on how much wood there actually is. Obviously, if you live in an area like Australia that naturally doesn’t get a lot of rain, you won’t need to be as concerned about this as somebody who lives on Barbados. Still, even in the land Down Under people should (and do) take this matter seriously, and the professionals for gutter installation in Perth, in particular, are busy all year round.
With the dampness in your walls, you can count on mould making an appearance sooner or later. First of all, it’s ugly, and it can completely ruin the otherwise beautiful interior of your home. Second of all, it can cause serious health problems for you and your family. For people who are sensitive to it, mould can cause respiratory problems, throat irritation, coughing, skin and eye irritation, and many other problems. It can make your home downright unpleasant to live in. While there may be some good DIY solutions for the mould and mildew that appear in naturally damp climates, if the cause of the problem is the dampness in the walls themselves, you’ll most likely have to contact professionals. These interventions can be quite pricey, so makes much more sense to pay attention to your gutter before the problem arises.
4. Shortened lifespan of the roof
Roof replacement is not cheap, so when you do it, you hope for it to last for at least some 20 years. In normal conditions, an average roof can last double that time. However, if you let your roof suffer water damage every time it rains, it will last much shorter than you’d like. In order to keep your roof for as long as possible, make sure you maintain your gutters regularly.
5. Compromised foundation
When the water passes through the gutters, it flows into water passages specifically made to drain the water from your property. If the gutters are aged, they’ll let the water seep through, then go from the façade to the foundation of your home. Wet foundation becomes less stable, and it can start giving way to the weight of the house. In worst cases, these kinds of issues can damage your home beyond repair. In the best scenario, though, you’ll have to pay a pretty penny for repair works.
6. Troubles with the landscape
Curb appeal has a huge influence over the values of your property, so it’s important to keep it in mind at all times. If the gutters don’t do their job, the water doesn’t drain from your property. It stays there, forming puddles in your lawn and flowerbeds. This can cause rotting of your plants, which in turn destroys the overall appearance of your home, diminishing its curb appeal, and lowering its value.
In summary, the gutters are not something to joke with. Pay attention to the condition they’re in before you have to face much more serious issues.
Author Bio: Audrey Taylor was born in San Francisco, and moved to Adelaide at the age of five. Marketer researcher and social media manager on hold, full – time mommy of a cheerful two-year-old. Graduated from Queensford college, worked in a couple of marketing agencies across Australia, eager to learn more about business and share her experiences. Traveled across Europe. Her hobbies include: home decor, fashion, travel, music, old movies. Twitter: https://twitter.com/theaudreyworld