A few leaves in your gutters may not seem like a big deal at first. You’d be right. It’s not. It’s when you continue to neglect your gutters and more and more leaves get clogged inside that can and will present a problem.
Gutters are specifically designed to divert water away from your home. This is extremely important because even a little bit of water can cause a lot of damage. And a lot of damage means you’ll be paying a lot of money for repairs to your home.
What Can Happen If I Don’t Clean My Gutters?
When there is heavy rainfall, the excess water needs a place to flow to. A gutter that is functioning properly will carry that water through a downspout and away from your house. A clogged gutter actually does the opposite, allowing the water to spill over the sides and down your walls. When water has the ability to pool, it can cause erosion which weakens the walls, thus leading to foundational cracks and settling.
The worst part of a scenario like this is that serious structural problems are not covered by most homeowners insurance policies.
Whenever your gutters are clogged, the water that is collected has no place to go. Because of this, your gutters overflow with water. When each gallon of water weighs as much as eight pounds, that extra weight can take a serious toll on your gutters, either bending them or tearing them away from your roof altogether.
It’s important to keep in mind that the average cost of replacing your gutters can range anywhere from $1,000 to as much as $7,000. Maintaining that your gutters are free and clear of debris will not only give you peace of mind; it will do wonders for the health of your bank account.
Wall and Ceiling Damage
Clogged gutters can also cause damage to the inside of your home when water leaks inside. Water can rot the boards that your gutters are mounted to, or it can flow behind the siding of your home.
In either case, moisture can enter your home, forcing you to have to replace wood, insulation and drywall. All of this can add up to a hefty sum.
Were you aware of the fact that clogged gutters can cause damage during winter as well? When temperatures drop, water that is trapped inside your gutters turns to ice. This is what’s known as an ice dam. When ice and snow melts and has no place to travel to, it can go underneath your shingles.
If you’re the type of person that stores a lot of your belongings in your basement, listen up. Wet basements can contain harmful mold and mildew, causing significant damage to your belongings, not to mention your overall physical health.
Pooling water in your gutters can be a haven for mosquitos. Damp mud and leaves can be an attractive place to bees and wasps to build their nests.
Is Damage From Clogged Gutters Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage caused by normal wear and tear or neglect. Procrastination is your enemy when it comes to maintenance of your home. Damage caused by neglecting your gutters will most likely need to be paid for out of pocket.