As a homeowner there are lots of aspects to manage, and falling leaves can sometimes seem like a small and insignificant thing in the overall grand scheme. Unfortunately allowing leaves to build on your roof and gutters can result in some serious damage to your home.
Result of a Neglected Gutter
There are three main things to consider when determining the role leaves play in the health of your gutters:
- The volume of leaves around your home.
- Long term positive effects of gutter cleaning.
- Leaf guards: Protect your gutters from being destroyed.
1. The Volume of Leaves Around Your Home
Trees Overhanging Roof
How many trees you have on your property obviously plays a part in how quickly your gutters can fill up. Additionally how close to the home the trees actually are can also play a large part in how easily the tree leaves can hit your home. Overhanging branches are a problem for other reasons than just the leaf volume they produce. They also allows squirrels to have easier access to the home, encouraging them to bring things into the gutters and further clog them.
On average the accepted rule of thumb for most homes is to clean the gutters twice a year, once in the fall and again in the springtime. This is usually often enough to prevent an excess of leaves from forming and starting to back up onto the roof – preventing roof damage from occurring.
2. Long Term Positive Effects of Gutter Cleaning
Your gutters serve an essential part in the health of your home. The first thing to keep in mind is that if your gutters are clogged that all of your water running off your roof will instead run straight down over the edge of the gutter and into the ground next to the house. This is probably one of the most critical issues with clogged gutters, because long term effects of excessive water by the foundation of the house can cause foundation cracks and damage the very base that holds your up. On the flip side keeping your gutters clean allows water to be moved safely away from the house and keep your foundation protected.
Other than the foundation of your house the roof is going to be your other critical area that keeps you and your family safe. When leaves back up on a roof water pools on the roof, unable to flow away from the shingles correctly. This gathering of water will eventually (having nowhere else to go) penetrate down thru the shingles into the decking below. The decking is the very foundation your roof is built on and once water damages the decking rot and mold will set in. The lesson here is that clean gutters are a key factor in maintaining a healthy roof on your home.
3. Lead Guards: Protect Your Gutters From Being Destroyed
Gutter Glove Guards
Mesh Gutter Guard
There are a number of products out there that people will use to protect their gutters from leaves. Litespeed Construction recommends Gutterglove because of its “Stainless Steel Micromesh” material and its 40 year guarantee on its products. It is worth noting that this product is designed for roofs that are not extremely steep. You can click here for more information on Gutterglove.
While many other products exist on the market many of them degrade rather quickly, putting you back in the position of again having leaves get into your gutter, only this time making it harder to clean because of the protective shield over top of the gutters.
Even those mechanisms that can last you a few years before breaking are still not without their faults. Oftentimes standard gutter guards are made of materials that allow small debris to still get into your gutters. Things like roof granules or small tree debris like pine needles. Overtime these materials will slowly clog up your gutter just like small debris clogs up a pipe, yet it will be nearly impossible to clear the gutters out because of the protective guard overtop.
The important thing to take note of when considering gutter guards is to not skimp on cost here. A good gutter guard will go a long way in making your life easier and preventing you from having to clean your gutters as often. A bad one can make life even more complicated.