“Oh yeah, I have gutters!” While this may sound like a joke, we actually do hear comments like this here in the Higher Ground offices around this time of year. Most people don’t think about their gutters often, and if they are functioning properly you shouldn’t really have to. But to keep them functioning properly, you must clean and maintain them regularly, because all it takes is one heavy rain to remind you how crucial they are to the health of your home.
Gutters have one basic purpose - to control the force of rainwater as it flows from your roof, in order to direct this water away from your home’s foundation. This simple but important job is dependent on a clear path for this water to flow, and having too much debris in your gutters can impede this flow. This is why gutters must be cleaned out regularly. Let’s explore some of the problems that can occur if your gutters are not regularly cleaned out and maintained, causing them to have clogs - some of these problems can be catastrophic!
Basement and Foundation Moisture
One of the most common issues related to clogged gutters is basement moisture. While water in your basement is often related to issues with groundwater on your property, leading to the need for new landscaping solutions, sometimes it can be as simple as needing a gutter cleaning. When water gets backed up and cannot flow away from your home as it should, it tends to stay close to the house. And this can penetrate the walls of your basement, which can at best lead to some wet gardening supplies and at worst lead to mold and mildew making its way up into your home - not good! Full gutters may not be the culprit, but if they are, cleaning them out is an incredibly cost-effective solution.
Along with basement water, perhaps the most serious issue that clogged gutters can lead to is foundation damage. This is where you can really find yourself in deep financial trouble if you aren’t proactive about gutter maintenance. When water builds up along the base of your home, it doesn’t just come inside, it also makes the soil around your home softer. This can be a direct cause of a crack in your foundation, which can be even more troublesome in winter, when the moisture that gets in these cracks can freeze. This is definitely a situation in which it pays to clean your gutters regularly. If you don’t want to clean your gutters out yourself, the cost of regular professional maintenance is a tiny fraction of the cost of replacing your foundation or even your home itself - protect your investment!
Another issue that is common when gutters are not cleaned and maintained on a regular basis is wood damage or rot due to overflow, especially on your soffit and/or fascia. Roof repair costs are no joke, and replacement, while fairly common, is something you really don’t want to have to do very often. When you combine this rotting wood with gutters full of heavy debris, you have a recipe for disaster, with the gutters often sagging and even falling off at their fasteners. There are also many critters that would love the chance to use your rotting wood in order to make their way into your home. Not to mention it can attract termites, carpenter bees and ants! These unwelcome house guests are often quite drawn to the moist debris found in gutters, so you’ll definitely want to keep them cleaned out in order to prevent infestations.
Do you detect a common theme here? Repair or replacement of roofs and foundations, mold removal, etc…this is costly work! So whether you clean out your own gutters or hire a professional, you will find that the nominal cost involved is a drop in the bucket of major home repairs. And if you do let the gutters go, you will undoubtedly have one of these issues. You’ll find that regular gutter cleanings will simply save you money in the long run. And don't forget that even if you have gutter covers or guards installed, the gutters still must be cleaned regularly to ensure their proper function - we have found that nothing is truly maintenance-free.
Hire a Professional
As mentioned, you can certainly clean your gutters out yourself if you are physically able. But why not hire a professional to do the job for you? For starters, professional gutter cleaning companies such as Higher Ground are typically insured and licensed, so that's some handy peace of mind. Also, gutter cleaning professionals are basically required to be comfortable on roofs - just ask our guys, many of whom have rock climbing backgrounds. They actually love being up there (crazy, right?).
And while they're up there, they will also be able to inspect your roof for you, letting you know about potential issues they see before they become a bigger problem. Roofing companies typically charge a much heftier fee to assess your roof, so why not go an even more cost-effective route and have your gutter cleaner take a look? And this may seem like a no-brainer, but some professional gutter cleaners can also assess any repairs your gutters or drainage system may need while they're cleaning. In fact, we specialize in this at Higher Ground of Asheville, as we are also able to return to complete any needed repairs or even replace your gutters entirely. We are truly gutter experts.
Scheduled Maintenance Plan
We admit we may be a bit biased, but one of the best reasons to choose Higher Ground Rainwater Systems of Asheville for your professional gutter cleaning needs is that we simply make it easy for you. Are you the forgetful type when it comes to home maintenance? We've got you covered. Higher Ground offers what we refer to as our Scheduled Maintenance Plan. This reminder service helps ensure that you get on our calendar before it fills up each season, helping you keep your gutters functioning the way they should. We typically send out email reminders in the month(s) of your choosing, but we can even enroll you as an "Auto-Confirm," saving you the trouble of checking your email. We will simply show up on schedule until you tell us otherwise. It's that easy.