What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Gutters?

When it comes to home maintenance tasks, cleaning your gutters should be at the top of the list. This all-important job should never be ignored and keeping up on it can increase the longevity of your home and yard. Knowing what happens if you don’t clean your gutters can help you understand why you should always take the time to make sure they are properly maintained and flowing freely. 

Why Do Gutters Need to Be Cleaned? 

Because the tops of the gutters are open to allow the water to properly drain, they can sometimes catch leaves and other debris that falls from trees. When this happens, the water can’t flow through them and will start to collect and spill over onto the house and the lawn. Keeping your gutters clean ensures that you won’t get water damage when it rains and that your home will be protected. 

What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Gutters? 

Structural Damage 

Water can be very destructive to your siding and foundation if it is allowed to collect and sit for long periods. When your gutters are clogged, water will spill over them and seep into the lower portions of the home. This can lead to serious deterioration and rot, which is incredibly expensive to repair. 

Roof Leaks 

When your gutters are clogged, water not only falls onto the ground, it also stays on the roof. As the water runs down the roof, it has nowhere to go if the gutters aren’t properly draining. This can deteriorate your roof and create leaks as the water level starts to rise. 

Pest Infestations

Pests love standing water because of all the bacteria that grows in it. When twigs, leaves, and other yard waste are allowed to sit in standing water in your gutters, it creates a perfect environment for pests like mosquitoes and gnats to lay their eggs. This is especially true if you live in an area that has warm, rainy summers when these pests are the most likely to infest your home and yard. 

Frozen Gutters 

In the winter, water that has accumulated in clogged gutters can freeze over. This added weight can damage your roof and cause even more serious clogs in the drainage system. When water freezes, it also expands, which could create holes and cracks in the gutters which would require a replacement. 

Landscape Damage

Water that is allowed to collect on your grass and in your garden can cause serious damage. If your gutters are not draining properly, the water will simply spill over and collect underneath the roofline. Any landscaping in that area could be irreversibly damaged by the standing water. 

How to Keep Your Gutters Maintained

  • Seal any leaks your gutters might have with silicone caulk as soon as you notice them. Run a hose through them and look for any areas where water is leaking out. 
  • Make sure your gutters are secured to your roofline. Look for any areas that are sagging or seem to have come loose and secure them with gutter screws. 
  • Get your gutters cleaned at least twice a year. If you live in an area that has a lot of trees or vegetation, you may even want to increase the number of cleanings you get each year. 

Final Thoughts 

The best way to make sure your gutters stay in good shape is to get them cleaned by a professional. They will be able to do a full inspection and will make sure that you won’t be faced with any serious damage the next time heavy rains come along. By staying up on maintenance, you won’t have to find out firsthand what happens if you don’t clean your gutters.