5 Big Benefits of Gutter Cleaning This Summer

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!

Contact us to schedule an appointment or receive a free estimate on the work you need to be done. We’ll even throw in a coupon or two

More About Our Gutter Cleaning Services

At My Window Washing, we do windows – and we do a number of other things for customers. But our gutter cleaning services are a vital part of what we offer, partly because this much-needed maintenance may be difficult for property owners to perform themselves, and partly because avoiding it can be expensive. 

Here are some of the major reasons that we get calls for gutter cleaning at a property.

Ladder Safety

For DIY people who want to do everything themselves, it may be tempting to simply get on the ladder and clean out the gutters on a regular basis. However, for anyone who’s aging or has significant mobility problems, or even for those of us with poor coordination or balance, ladder safety is an important part of this equation.

Falling off a ladder can cost you thousands of dollars. Even if it’s only an ER visit, the costs can greatly exceed any savings you would’ve gotten from cleaning your own gutters for about 50 years! Sometimes, things like this are best left to the pros, where specialized insurance is in play for those types of unfortunate situations, and crews are trained to avoid these injuries. 

Hard-to-Reach Spots

You might have a one-story rancher with pretty reasonable gutters – where you can just stand up an 8-foot ladder and get right up there. But there may be corners and crevices that are just beyond your reach, and there again, you’re running into ladder safety issues. Lean the wrong way, and you could end up generating those thousand-dollar hospital bills we talked about above. Also, how will the gutter handle the weight of your ladder – and you? Pros know exactly how to approach a gutter system, but unless you’ve specialized in this work, you might end up actually damaging your gutters.

The Cost of Neglect

Another option is to just hope that not too much dirt and debris flows into your gutters over time – but that’s really just wishful thinking.

Without good annual gutter maintenance, it doesn’t take long for sediment to build up and clog gutters and downspouts. Presently, you’ll see water seeping into your basement and creating water damage and mold and other problems. It’s even common for plants to grow in your gutters as seeds drift up there along with the other detritus.

Call My Window Washing if you need your gutters cleaned on a regular basis. You’ll find that hiring the pros to do your gutters is a bargain in the long run – and it’s easy!

5 Problems That Clogged Gutters Can Cause

Cleaning gutters is a chore that might not be high on the list of pleasant things to do, but foregoing it can cause a lot of problems. Not only does neglect to clean your gutters cost you big money in the long run, but it can also affect almost every part of your home.

So without further ado, here are three problems that clogged gutters can cause you:

Mold and Mildew

Our article on ‘Clogged Gutters? Here Are 7 Tell-Tale Signs Your Gutters Need Cleaning’ notes that if water starts to flow over, rather than through your gutters, then they are definitely clogged up. This leads to water cascading over parts of your home that aren’t built to be exposed to water, and in turn, it can lead to mold and mildew. HomeServe Living suggests that mold can form from overflowing gutters, which can then feed on materials like dust, carpets, and wood. Not only is it unsightly and smelly, but mold also poses a genuine health hazard as it can cause allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory problems.

Pests Everywhere

Pest infestation is something that nobody wants — but clogged gutters can actually cause it. There are many types of insects that can thrive in stagnant water, such as mosquitoes. However, this decaying environment caused by a clogged drainage system can also attract carpenter ants, termites, and other pests that destroy wood. In other words, the same conditions that can breed annoying mosquitoes can also breed significant damage to your property.

Superficial and Structural Roof Damage

If left unchecked, WyDaily notes that clogged gutters can cause some serious structural damage to your roof, as it could be at risk of either superficial or structural damage. Superficial damage can occur and remove shingles and damaged chimneys. Built-up moisture in cold temperatures can even destroy your gutters, leading to replacements. However, the worst-case scenario is that excess water can seep through your roof, which can lead to wood rot and eventually, mold and mildew.

Foundation Damage

Clogged gutters can also cause damage to your foundation. If the sand, dirt, or clay underneath your home gets too wet, erosion will weaken your home, and your foundation could potentially shift and cause cracks or buckling. Water can then spill over and down the sides of the house and into the foundation, causing even further water damage and it can lead to more cracks.

Damaged Soffits and Fascia

Your soffits and fascia are the closest things to your gutter. When your gutters get clogged, water gets collected and with nowhere to go, it will eventually eat away at your soffits and fascias. Additionally, the Earth Awards outlines that the weight of standing water on your gutters could put a strain on the gutters and fascia, which could then lead to them collapsing. Replacing it all is a very expensive job.

The Bottom Line

Any debris that gets into your gutter can cause some serious problems that will lead to costly renovations. My Window Washing offers professional gutter cleaning services so you don’t have to let these issues affect your home. If you suspect that you have a clogged gutter, don′t wait – call us today for a pro gutter cleaning service.

Clogged Gutters? Here Are 7 Tell-Tale Signs Your Gutters Need Cleaning

clogged gutters

The average homeowner needs to budget between 1 and 3 percent of their home’s value just to maintain their house. But if your home has clogged gutters, that budget could skyrocket.

Believe it or not, gutter clogs can do some serious damage to your house, putting you and your loved ones at risk for mold if you’re not careful. The best thing you can do is get those clogs removed as quickly as possible.

But how can you tell when it’s time to schedule a cleaning? Watch for these tell-tale signs.

Continue reading “Clogged Gutters? Here Are 7 Tell-Tale Signs Your Gutters Need Cleaning”

Clean Gutters Make Happy Homes

Home ownership requires that we maintain the exterior of our houses in order to insure their longevity.  People tend to think about performing these chores in the spring and fall of the year, times of renewal and preparation for the seasons to come.

Gutters are important parts of our home’s defense system, providing channels that direct water flow off and away from our homes structure.  Unfortunately, these systems can only work well if they are free from debris and damage, making adding gutter cleaning and repair an important task to your seasonal home chores.

Keeping gutters in working condition has benefits that many do not realize. Of course it decreases the chance of water damage to your roof and home, especially after heavy rains, but it can be more complicated than that.  There are some other little known consequences of not keeping gutters in good working order that can have big effects on your home.

Gutters that are filled with leaves and debris create a tempting habitat for a variety of pests such as mice, mosquitos, squirrels, roaches and other bugs.  Once these pests begin making homes in gutters, they can begin to infest the roof eaves, and other parts of our home, creating damage along their way.

Damaged and clogged gutters can also cause cracks and holes to develop in the home’s foundation and walls, making perfect entrances for pests and mold. These problems can persist to entail damage to the very foundation of the home, causing costly repairs and threatening the safety of the structure.

If clogged gutters begins to erode the soil around and away from the home, foundation shifting is possible, as well as drowned landscaping and grass lawns.  This flooding can proceed to basements and lead to cracks in walls and chimneys that can be expensive to correct.

Also expensive to repair or replace a damaged roof.  Water damage can quickly compromise the roof, leading to leaks and structural disrepair that can mean major reconstruction. This can be especially significant in climates where snow and ice can build up in gutters, melting slowly and creating breakage that can lead to water soaked joints and overhangs.  

There are many reasons to keep your home’s gutter system clean, and several ways to do so. Leaf blowers can be used, although this can be cumbersome and difficult to maneuver in high places.  You can also grab the ladder and hand clean along the gutters to remove debris, mildew, and mold, however this can be a tedious and time consuming job.

Hiring a professional gutter cleaning professional to come two or three times a year, or on an as needed basis, can free your mind of worry and leave you with time for other chores.  My Window Washing provides experienced and professional technicians to clean your property’s gutters, as well as wash windows and siding and other needs you may have.  Making your gutters a priority when it comes to maintenance and cleaning will keep your home in shape for years to come.