As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. In Chicago, we should be thinking more about August showers, since August gets the most rain per year on average!
If you don’t prepare your gutters for the Chicago summer storms, you may face a few problems that are much harder to tackle.
Fortunately, gutter cleaning is both cost-effective and easy with the help of professional gutter cleaning services!
Read on for the top 5 benefits of gutter cleaning and spare yourself some expensive issues down the line.
1. Protect Your Roof
You’ve probably noticed that most rooftops are built with a slight slant or incline that leads to the gutter. This enables heavy rainfall to make its way down your roof and into your gutter so that it can be safely redirected.
When your gutter is clogged, water may begin to pool around the edges of your roof. When water pools on shingles, it can seep between the cracks, weakening the shingles’ hold and damaging the underlayment. Over time, you may begin to lose shingles and your roof may develop holes where water damage is particularly severe.
When your roof is damaged, you risk leakage that can lead to mold, mildew, and structural damage in your home’s interior.
2. Protect Your Yard
If your gutter’s job is to collect rainfall, your downspout’s job is to direct that rainfall to a designated area of your yard. Many builders place the downspout in an area that has an incline so that the water continues to disperse throughout the yard, rather than pooling in one spot.
If your gutters are clogged, water that doesn’t get trapped on the roof can cascade over the gutter in sheets. As a result, your grass, mulch, and other landscaped elements will become water-logged or wash away altogether.
3. Avoid an Unwanted Rooftop Garden
Chicagoans with seasonal allergies will be the first to tell you that this spring has brought a historically high pollen count. In other words, we’ve seen an unusually high amount of pollen floating through the air, feeding plants left and right.
Gutters become clogged with a number of things, from fallen leaves to broken branches and twigs. As this debris breaks down, it creates a nice, organic bed for plants to grow in. Meanwhile, that pollen that’s making you sneeze is also feeding the plants that are trying to grow in your gutter.
If plants start popping up in your gutter, you’re in need of some serious gutter cleaning and you may want to act on it fast! These growing plants are adding to the weight and pressure on your gutter. Over time, you’ll start to see sagging and cracking along your gutter that could cause residual damage to your roof and walls.
4. Dismantle Pest Habitats
Plants aren’t the only things that thrive in a clogged gutter. A variety of pests will also gladly set up camp amidst the debris.
While you may not mind a robin’s nest or two, some birds are territorial after nesting and laying their eggs. For example, swallows, which have made their way across all of North America, will dive-bomb humans and pets who get too close to their precious cargo. The last thing you want is to face a bird attack when you’re walking the dog or bringing in the groceries!
Bees, wasps, and hornets have also been found in clogged gutters. Not only is this a risk for the members of your household but it could also be a risk for your bank account. Due to premises liability law, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that you could find yourself facing a lawsuit after a guest got stung by a pest living in your gunked up gutter!
5. Reduce Your Risk of a Cracked Foundation
Perhaps one of the most costly side effects of a clogged gutter is a cracked foundation. The foundation of your home rests below the ground and is made of either wood or cement. This is what provides your house a level surface to stand on and keeps your support beams and other structural elements from sinking or tilting.
A downspout’s most important job is to divert water away from your foundation. The same gushing water that could destroy your garden could make its way underground, causing your foundation to swell, shift, or crack.
Depending on the type of foundation your house is built upon and the age of your property, you may not be able to recover a damaged foundation at all. In the event that you can, it won’t be cheap or quick.
Even if water damage leads to a minor crack in your foundation, this issue can’t be ignored. Between the pressure of the house and the changes in temperature and moisture, a small crack in your foundation will deepen over time.
Gutter Cleaning in Chicago, IL
Gutter cleaning is something that every Chicago homeowner should add to their spring cleaning to-do list. It’s far less expensive than having your roof, landscaping, or foundation repaired. It’s also less daunting than dealing with some mysterious or finicky pests.
If you’re looking for professional gutter cleaning in the Chicago area, you’ve come to the right place. At My Window Washing, we’ll do more than clean your windows and power wash your property. We’ll also clean your gutter!