Gutter cleaning should be an important part of your home exterior maintenance plan. Late October and most of November is a great time to have the gutter system cleaned. Pine needles, leaves, and shingle decay all add up to a roof drainage system full of debris. The gutter area is hidden from view and very warm during the summer months. This area is a great place to find several hornet nests and I have seen as many as seven. Tree frogs live in debris filled gutters too. I have been shocked on several occasions by hopping frogs. This can be dangerous when you're up on a ladder, and you become startled. Gutters are an extension of your roofing area. When it comes to water migration from the roof, the gutter collects the bulk of the water that flows down from your shingles. Having a clean gutter system allows the water to be collected and directed away from your home through the down spouts.
Clogged or debris filled gutter systems do not allow water to be directed to the downspouts. Sumimes the down spouts are blocked up with pine needles, twigs, or leaves, and the blockage is hidden from view. This blockage can be in the middle of the down spout or at the angled areas. Water collecting in a dirty gutter system, has the potential to harbor hidden fungi and bacteria. Gutter channels that have large amounts of debris can allow water to lap over the sides of the channels. If the exterior fascia boards behind the gutters are allowed to be saturated by water lapping over the gutters, extensive rotting may occur. Water may also migrate to the under side of your exterior siding or soffits creating hidden rot, potential mold growth, insect nesting, and hidden water damage. Carpenter ants love to tunnel through wet wood, and colonize. Water may also lap over the gutter system, and be deposited against the home foundation walls during heavier rainfall.
Clean gutter systems and down spouts allow water to be directed away from your home foundation, soffit areas, and siding. Additional extensions can be purchased to further direct water to safer places such as the street or driveway. Cleaning the gutter system usually involves working on an extension ladder. Working at heights most home owners are not comfortable with leads to injury. Please call a professional to clean your gutter system. The cost is minimal compared to an injury from a ladder accident.