The Dangers of Clogged Gutter Systems

A clogged gutter system can cause costly damage to your home. It can stain the sidings, deteriorate roofing shingles, and leave behind ugly black streaks on your house. A gutter cleaning service can help you avoid costly damage by removing the accumulated debris. To do this, you need the right tools. Some will require a ladder, so practice safety and wear protective gear. Visit for more information.

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Gutter systems direct rainwater away from homes, but that water can’t do it properly if the gutters are clogged. Clogged drains can lead to overflowing, sagging, or leaking gutters, blocked downspouts, and standing water around the house. This water can seep into the foundation and cause rot or mold in walls and attic areas. It can also wash mulch and soil off garden beds and into the grass, choking them. Gutters that aren’t cleaned regularly can also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Gutters get clogged with fallen leaves, twigs and branches, gunk, grime, and other organic material. The debris eventually builds up, creating logjams in downspouts and preventing them from draining. Over time, this can cause water to overflow from the gutters and onto the roof. It can also soak into the trenches and down the side of the house, creating rot or mold in siding, fascia boards, windows, and doors. Gutter cleaning removes this debris and ensures rainwater can flow freely from the roof to the ground.

While gutter covers may help to prevent some of this debris buildup, it is essential that homeowners still clean out their gutters periodically. The best way to do this is by climbing a ladder and using a broom, brush, or similar tool to break apart the debris and then scoop it out of the gutters. It is a dangerous job that can result in injury, especially if you fall from the ladder. Wearing work gloves and having a spotter who can watch for safety concerns is important.

Once the debris has been removed, you can use a hose to flush out the gutters and remove any remaining dirt or sediment. A hose can also help clear out moss and mildew from the trenches. Gutter cleaning preserves the functionality of your gutter system and protects your home from foundation damage, leaks, rot, and insect infestation problems. Regular maintenance is essential for a healthy home, but many homeowners need help finding the time to perform this crucial task.

Black streaks can appear on gutters from oily residue and other pollutants. When it rains, these substances wash off the fascia boards and siding to be deposited in the channel. Over time, this can cause the streaks to become more and more prominent.

Gutter cleaning is important to remove these substances and keep them from spreading to other areas of the house. These substances can damage the roof, shingles, and other house components. That can lead to expensive repairs or replacements if left unattended.

The main culprit behind these unsightly streaks is a type of algae. The blue-green algae known as gloeocapsa magma thrives in moist environments and it’s often found on roofs. This algae is spread by commercial fertilizers that run off into waterways and find their way to gutters. The problem is that this algae can eat away at the materials of the roof and gutter system. It can lead to the dreaded tiger striping.

Oxidation can also contribute to the formation of these black streaks. As the gutters age, they’re more likely to oxidize, which leads to the streaking effect. It can be avoided by installing new gutters or coating the old ones with a protective sealant.

When cleaning the gutters, some people are concerned that bleach and other household cleaners will damage them. It isn’t necessarily true if the cleaners are used in proper dilution. Some people have also had success with natural cleaners like lemon juice, vinegar, and salt water.

If you want to eliminate the black streaks on your gutters, you can buy a “Streak Getter” product. It will break down the electrostatic bonding of tar & asphalt, and other debris to the aluminum metal material, making it easy to wipe them off with a hose or power washer. You can find this product online and at some home improvement stores. It’s important to note that these products can only be safely used if you are careful and follow the instructions carefully.

Clogged gutters can lead to a wide range of pest infestations. Rodents like mice, rats, squirrels, and chipmunks view a clogged gutter as an ideal place to build nests, which will then cause even more clogs as the pests shed their feathers, fur, and other materials from their new home. These critters can also carry diseases, such as leptospirosis and hantavirus. Likewise, carpenter ants and termites find a breeding ground in the moist conditions of a clogged gutter. These insects can eventually eat through the fascia boards and into your house, causing expensive structural damage.

Flies also thrive in the rotting environment of a clogged gutter. These pests need a fermenting liquid to lay their eggs, which the standing water of a clogged drain provides. Regularly cleaning your gutters eliminates the standing water and stops the fermentation, eliminating the breeding ground for flies.

Other pests with an affinity for clogged gutters include ants, bees, and wasps. The secluded conditions of a clogged drain give these pests an ideal place to build their nests, which can pose a danger to homeowners allergic to their stings. Moreover, large wasp and bee colonies in a gutter can pull the entire chute away from the roof and impact the fascia and surrounding landscaping.

Another common problem with clogged gutters is snakes, which take refuge in the shade and shelter a clogged drain provides. While these pests may not seem dangerous, they can still bite people, resulting in nasty injuries. In addition, some snake species transmit deadly diseases, such as dengue fever and West Nile virus.

Ignoring your gutters won’t take long to overflow with debris and cause severe damage to your roof, fascia board, and home. Gutter cleaning is a necessary maintenance, but it’s an easy chore that most homeowners tend to push to the side until a major issue arises. Regularly cleaning your gutters can avoid costly repairs and prevent pest infestations. Contact us today to learn more about our gutter cleaning services.

People falling off ladders, roofs, and other high places are often used for comedic relief in movies and television, but real-life situations like that can be fatal. Gutter cleaning is a hazardous task, and anyone who does it must take the proper safety measures.

First and foremost, you need to have the right work gear. Gloves are essential not only because they will keep your hands clean but also to protect against any sharp debris that might be stuck in the gutters. Additionally, the sludge usually inside clogged drains is full of bird and squirrel droppings and bacteria, so it’s probably not something you want to handle with bare hands.

It’s a good idea to wear close-toed shoes and a hard hat, especially when climbing a ladder. It’s also wise to spread a plastic tarp beneath your workspace to catch the gunk from the gutters. It’s always best to have a friend or family member help you, either to keep an eye on you while you are working on the ladder or to assist in moving the ladder if necessary.

In addition to a sturdy ladder, you will also need a garden hose with a pistol-grip trigger spray nozzle. This type of nozzle allows you to control the water pressure being used and can double as an on/off switch. Finally, a good quality scrub brush and small hand trowel will be useful tools for clearing any remaining debris in the gutters.

Having some green waste bags on hand is also a good idea to collect all the gunk falling out of the gutters and onto your lawn. It will keep it from becoming a tripping and fire hazard, as well as prevent the spread of mold in your yard. Finally, inspect your ladder carefully before using it, and have someone hold the bottom to ensure it is stable.