In the past, April showers brought May flowers. It seems as though this past year it has been May showers brings June flowers. Either way, these showers have always been more like storms leaving, at worst, severe destruction, or at best, some displaced leaves and other debris in their wake. Now that the worst storms have seemed to pass (or at least subside for a week or two), it may be time to check the perimeter of your home and see what, if anything, needs to be fixed, cleaned, or cleared. More than likely you will at least find your gutters filled with debris and foliage that could cause an issue now or in the future.
What is the Issue?
Most homeowners do not realize the importance a gutter system actually brings to protecting the home against water damage. Gutters are an integral piece of protecting your home against flooding, moisture damage, and even advanced settling. Here is how it all works- a clear gutter allows water to flow from the roof and onto the ground in a strategically placed location by going through the entire gutter system. As a result, water does not sit on the roof or in the gutter, damaging shingles or rusting the gutter causing it to collapse. Sometimes, if the gutter is too clogged, water can actually seep into the home and therefore allow water to seep in through the foundation or basement. Another issue that may occur from the water sitting in the gutters is oxidation. Rust from standing water will weaken the gutter system and cause a collapse. As a result, the water may then enter your basement through the windows and cause them to dampen, leaving a ripe breeding ground for mold and mildew.
Homeowners have two options in dealing with gutter cleaning: the first option is to do it themselves. The problem with this approach is it can be dangerous, grueling, and even tedious work. If you do not have the proper ladders or equipment, you can actually get hurt cleaning your gutters.
The second, more plausible option is to hire a professional to clean your gutters. If you choose to hire a professional keep the following information in mind; a reputable company will have the proper insurance and be willing to show you the insurance coverage upon request. Additionally, this type of company should put your agreement in writing so there is no miscommunication surrounding the scope of the work. Finally, it is better for the homeowner to hire a company that supplies its own staff, as opposed to hiring subcontractors to complete the work. The staff of a company is more willing to follow the promised guidelines of the company and typically has the interest of the company at heart. Additionally, the company’s employees are there until the job is done and will make the same amount of money whether it takes them three hours or ten.