Are Your Gutters Ready for Extreme Colorado Weather?
Just like that, the fall season is upon us in Colorado. I think we can all agree that 2020 has been the longest, yet somehow fastest year in recent memory. Is your gutter system up the challenges that it will inevitably face due to Colorado’s unpredictable weather that accompanies the coming of autumn? Falling leaves are capable of affecting almost all parts of your home, from the top of the roof, all the way to the foundation — but the singularly most-impacted component of your home is going to be the gutter and drainage system. When gutters are clogged up with leaves and debris, it can open your home to the possibility of all sorts of potential damage. It’s for that reason that now is the time, before the leaves start falling in droves, to ensure your gutters are up to the task this year.
Are a Few Small Leaves Really a Big Deal?
What’s a collection of leaves here and there? It may seem like a couple of leaves in your gutters won’t really affect its performance too much — but that’s where you’re wrong. When leaves and other natural debris are allowed to collect in your gutter system, they begin the process of decomposition. The result is a nasty sludge that can clog up your drains and render your gutters next to useless. It’s important to have free-flowing gutters, especially when the snow starts to fall. Gutters that overflow with melting snow and ice can lead to damage occurring to other parts of your home, as well as create walking hazards with the subsequent patches of ice.
Damage Report: Gutters and Your Roof
Water is an incredibly important factor when it comes to potential variables that damage roofs. When roofs are not able to properly drain, moisture can be allowed to collect and penetrate your shingles, and once that happens, it can take a very long time to dry out. Meanwhile, as the weather cools and that moisture remains trapped, it’s causing all sorts of problems, like wood rot and decay. If water happens to penetrate all the way through your shingles, it only has one direction to go — down into your attic, affecting internal home structures and insulation. This is a one-way ticket to Mold City, and you do not want to go there. If mold is given the chance to multiply in your home, harmful mold spores can enter your ventilation system, negatively impacting your household and exacerbating conditions such as asthma.
Damage Report: Gutters and Your Foundation
Malfunctioning gutters and drainage systems usually mean that water isn’t being properly directed away from the foundation of your home. Water that is allowed to collect can pour down in a devastating deluge, right into your house’s foundation, saturating the ground. That’s a recipe for disaster.
When the ground around your home’s foundation is allowed to be saturated with moisture, that saturated earth can begin to put pressure on the concrete walls of your basement, creating cracks. What starts as a fine crack can easily become a full-blown break, which can be very expensive to repair. This financial setback can be avoided by making sure your gutters are clean, clear, and ready to go. Saturated earth also allows your foundation to begin sinking, bringing with it another slew of problems.
Additionally, concrete is a porous material, meaning that it soaks up moisture. Improperly sealed concrete can allow moisture to permeate its structure, eventually resulting in weakened concrete that can crack or even crumble.
How Gutters Impact Your House Siding
Depending on the siding of your home, the steady stream of water flowing from clogged gutters can affect it to different degrees. Vinyl or wooden siding is vulnerable to having moisture penetrate at the seams. Likewise, brick or stucco siding is vulnerable to becoming saturated with water, becoming weak, and eventually crumbling.
Getting Prepared for Fall
Even if the leaves haven’t begun to fall in full-force, what can you do to prepare your gutters in the meantime? Your gutter care is likely to be a season-long process since you can’t really finish cleaning until all the leaves have fallen for the year. However, you’ll be thanking yourself for being proactive and getting a jump on the process. Beginning your final, post-leaves cleaning will be much easier if you’re beginning with clean gutters. Many homeowners find success with gutter covers, which are available from Front Range Seamless Gutters. This may be the perfect option for you, avoiding the worst of the difficulty that comes with gutter cleaning.
Tools for Cleaning Your Gutters
The dirty job of gutter cleaning is something that you can take on yourself if you so choose. However, there are a couple of tools that we recommend using to get the job done right!
- First things first — a sturdy, reliable ladder (not the junker that belonged to your grandfather). The ladder should at least be tall enough for a single-story home. If you need to be able to reach higher than a single story, we recommend contacting professional services.
- Personal protective equipment — this includes protection for your face, hands, and eyes. A sturdy pair of work gloves, a dust mask, and safety goggles should do the trick. The last thing you want to do is accidentally fling mold, gunk, sharp debris, or animal droppings around haphazardly. Make sure to protect yourself!
- Big bucket or plastic tarp – you need a place to throw all of the debris that you clear out of your gutter system. It might be tempting to cut corners and just toss debris on the ground, but that will only end up making more work for yourself in the long run.
Trust the Professionals at Front Range Seamless Gutters
If doing the previously described gutter maintenance doesn’t sound like much fun to you, we completely understand! That’s why we’re the professionals you can trust. We know the sort of havoc that Colorado’s weather can cause on gutter and drainage systems. For friendly, professional, and competitively priced gutter maintenance services, contact Front Range Seamless Gutters. We serve homes and businesses all along the Front Range, from Denver to Cheyenne. We look forward to serving you soon!