Common Complications Caused by Clogged Gutters

A close up image of a gutter system on a brick houseColorful autumn leaves are a welcome distraction from the cold weather, but it’s only a matter of time before those leaves detach and clutter your gutters. This is a yearly hassle for every homeowner, but it’s an important component of every fall cleanup, as neglecting your gutters can have unfortunate and expensive repercussions. These simple ducts play a vital role, so it’s essential that one cleans them out to prevent these common complications caused by clogged gutters.

What Problems Can Arise Due to Clogged Gutters?

The purpose of gutters is to redirect water away from your house, and when they’re clean, they’re able to perform their function. However, if the gutters are clogged with dirt, leaves, and other debris, the water is unable to be diverted and will pool in the gutters, resulting in complications such as:

  • Broken Gutters: Gutters are made of light-weight materials such as aluminum or plastic, which aren’t designed to hold excessive weight. When clogged and filled to the brim with water and debris, it can break the brackets and the duct itself.
  • Foundation Issues: The most important job of a gutter is to prevent water from collecting around your home’s foundation. If the water is not reaching the downspout and being directed away from the house, it can erode your foundation, leading to cracks.
  • Flooded Basement: If not properly waterproofed, your basement can become wet via water seeping through your porous foundation or unsealed bulkhead.
  • Ceiling and Wall Damage: Clogged gutters can even lead to leaks within your home, as trapped water in the ducts can cause wood rot in the abutting fascia boards. This can result in mold developing in your walls or ceiling or ice dams that damage your shingles.
  • Pest Infestation: Pooling water and detritus in your gutters presents the perfect breeding grounds for insects. The collection of mud also invites wasps and bees to build their nests in the gutters.

These issues can be expensive to repair, but fortunately, the complications caused by clogged gutters are easy to avoid. Ensuring the gutters are clear should be a part of everyone’s fall maintenance checklist.

Safety Precautions When Cleaning Your Gutters

While cleaning your gutters may seem a simple task, a wrong move can result in serious injury. When you’re climbing a ladder, ensure someone is nearby to support the ladder or respond to an accident. Also, it’s proper safety etiquette to never stand on the top three rungs of the ladder. Additionally, you should wear non-slip shoes and wear gloves and protective eyewear to protect against cuts, harmful bacteria, and stinging insects. If the job proves too physically demanding, it’s in your best interest to hire a professional.

Will Insurance Cover Complications Caused by Clogged Gutters?

Homeowners insurance will cover the repair of your gutters if they are damaged by a covered event, such as hail, snow, or vehicle collision. However, if the damage is the result of gutter neglect, you may be responsible for the costs of repair. Preventable losses are typically considered homeowners insurance exclusions. Failure on your part here can lead to the repairs for the cracks in your foundation or the moisture in your basement coming out of your pocket.

Homeownership comes with added responsibility, and one of those responsibilities includes preventing complications caused by clogged gutters. Cleaning your gutters will ensure that you’re not financially liable for any water damage to your home. Yet, since accidents do happen, it’s also crucial you have the right homeowners insurance. At TJ Woods Insurance, we can ensure you’re paired with the right policies to protect your family and home. If you would like to inquire more about how to protect your home from the forces of nature and other uncontrollable events, contact us today.