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Bergen County Roofing: Article About The Importance Of Clean Gutters

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Gutters are an extremely important roof feature. Unfortunately, they often receive inadequate attention from homeowners. Dirty gutters and those in poor repair can cause a variety of problems for a home and may lead to serious damage to the roof, siding or foundation. It is very important for homeowners to clean gutters properly and keep them in good working order, but this can be difficult without the proper tools and expertise. Improper gutter maintenance may cause more problems and damage than it fixes. A Bergen County roofing contractor can help a homeowner keep their gutters in good working order through at least seasonal inspections and maintenance services.

Gutters get dirty and filled with all kinds of debris. Plant matter from surrounding trees and foliage isn't the only problem. Most leaves and branches come loaded with dirt and dust, which steadily accumulates over time. Asphalt shingles are also a common culprit. As the shingles age and deteriorate, they deposit a wide variety of substances into gutters, including granules and asphalt debris.

All of this organic material sits in the gutter and then rots over time. Gutters that have not been cleaned in a long time are usually filled with mud and dirt as well as rotten plant matter. As the debris thickens, it holds onto even more dirt and dust that would normally wash through the downspouts.

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Exceptionally dirty gutters may even begin growing a variety of their own plants. If a homeowner spots tufts of grass sprouting from their gutters, it is far past time for a cleaning.

The potential damage caused by broken and overflowing gutters cannot be understated. While the roof of a structure is designed to handle water and weather, the siding and foundation are much more vulnerable. Water dripping on the foundation can easily penetrate into the wall, leading to rot and mold growth. Eventually, this will require the siding to be replaced and may even require extensive repairs to the wall structure and insulation if water has penetrated deeply enough.

The foundation is where water seepage can really become disastrous. Basements and water do not mix well. A properly designed and functioning gutter and downspout system will divert water a safe distance from the foundation where it can cause no damage. Water seeping right up against the foundation will penetrate the concrete slowly over time. This eventually leads to cracking and flooding in the basement. Keeping gutters clean and maintained may be what saves an entire home from disaster.

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