The High Price of Deciding Not To Clean Your Home’s Gutters

The Packers and Cowboys are locked in a classic. The Food Network has a “America’s Worst Chefs” marathon playing. I’m just 1,000 points away from a new record score on “Call of Duty.” We heard a voice calling us to enjoy this beautiful autumn day on the river. As Garfield would say, it’s a good Saturday afternoon for a nap.

There are a million good reasons to avoid cleaning your home’s gutters on a sparkling autumn day, but one good compelling reason to give them they deserve: Money.

Remember, the purpose of gutters is to carry water away from your home to a good, safe drainage area. If gutters are not cleaned, a dirty mix of water, dirt, leaves, trash and more build up in the gutter channel and water overflows onto the building or foundation. This water exposure can soften the soil under the foundation and lead to cracks.

The results of long-neglected gutters can be five-alarm wallet and home maintenance migraines. Foundation damage, rotted wood, roof leaks, ice dams, basement leaks, mold growth and damage, insect infestations and landscape damage are just some of the fallout from gutters fighting off the watery wrath of severe weather by themselves. In extreme cases, water damage from failing and unmaintained gutters can lead to structural damage in the building.

The cost of repairing damaged gutters alone costs $330 nationally on average according to HomeAdvisor. That’s serious money ending up, in well, the gutter. Repairing the damage caused by failing or unmaintained gutters can run into the thousands of dollars.

Gutters are low-maintenance, high-performance worker bees that require attention less often than cars require oil changes. The National Center for Healthy Housing recommends cleaning your gutters twice a year: Once in the spring and once in the fall. An hour or less of cleaning twice a year can keep your gutters performing as a clean, mean water-diverting machine.

For even the highest end, self-cleaning gutter system needs occasional cleaning love. Clean gutters by scooping out debris then rinsing with a hose. For folks DIYing their gutters, don’t forget the essential gutter cleaning safety equipment:

  1. Gloves
  2. Dust Mask
  3. Safety Goggles
  4. A sturdy ladder and a spotter
  5. Garden Trowel (for heavy debris cleaning jobs)

Remember, proper and regular gutter maintenance is vital to defending your home and property from water damage. For the damage caused by runoff water is a repair headache best and easily avoided.

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