The 5 Hidden Dangers of Overflowing Gutters

Photo credits: spelio

Nobody enjoys hauling out the ladder to clean the gutters, and we make excuses as a result. It’s just water, right? Your house was built by quality contractors … One rain storm isn’t a big deal … It’ll save you time with the plants … And anyway, you’ve got better things to do.

All of which are great, until the consequences sneak up to bite you. Here are five dangers you didn’t know your overflowing gutters were causing.

1. Siding Damage

Water constantly running down your siding isn’t good for it, to say the least. Water flows can fade colors, leave behind dirt you’ll have to clear, and even wear away paint or the material of the siding itself. Over time, it will force you to repaint your siding, or even replace it entirely. And that’s just the start of the problems.

2. Cracked Driveways and Concrete

Concrete, for all its famed toughness, does not take to water very well. As water flows into concrete, it seeps into the various nooks and crannies and begins dissolving the minerals it comes across. Those dissolved minerals are washed out as the water seeps through, only to be deposited somewhere else along the path, creating gaps and cramming spaces, and eventually cracking the concrete.

True, you can’t keep all your concrete bone dry all the time, but the more water that lands on it, the faster the process is. And what’s cheaper and more convenient; cleaning your gutters or having a new driveway installed?

3. Flooding Basements

Gutter systems exist for one reason: to divert water away from your house. When that system backs up or fails, that water has to go somewhere. And more often than not, eventually that somewhere will be “your basement.” Even one strong storm will be more than enough to wreck everything downstairs, including appliances like your water heater. Family memories, toys, valuables… they can all be damaged beyond repair. And, if you don’t take care of a basement flood quickly, you’ll soon discover another problem; the water can potentially crack your foundation, opening the door to a whole host of problems.

4. Roof Damage

Gutters make sure the water flows off your roof and into the ground. If a gutter is backed up, that water has nowhere to go, and might begin soaking into your roof. This can wear away at shingles, cause leaks in rooms in your house, damage the contents of your attic, and even compromise your home’s structural integrity over time.

5. Mold

Worst of all, overflowing gutters can put your family’s health at risk. As water seeps into your home, it creates the perfect environment for mold to take root. Mold spores can cause breathing problems, fevers, headaches, itching or watery eyes, and a whole host of other problems. Removing mold is a costly process, and if a case gets far enough, you might find your home condemned as a health hazard.

So, make sure your gutters are clear, for the health and safety of your family, and consider installing gutter guards to make sure they stay clear. But either way, don’t put off keeping your gutters clear, or you’ll have a much more dangerous problem on your hands soon enough.

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