You should never leave standing water in any area of your property, particularly your gutters. Standing water can lead to a host of issues, from mosquito infestation to mold growth to rot.
Standing water is an ideal environment for mosquitoes, flies and other insects to grow their eggs. In addition, gutters with stagnant water can eventually become damaged due to the weight of the water. This can lead to other problems like localized flooding and foundation damage.
To give you a better idea of how stagnant water in gutters can affect your home, Barry Best Seamless Gutters — a trusted provider of gutter systems and retractable awnings — discusses the dangers of standing water. We also share a few tips on how you can maintain your gutters.
Dangers of Stagnant Water in the Gutters in NC
Your gutters play a crucial role in protecting your home against water damage. By helping direct water away from your home, they can keep your foundation dry after a heavy rain or storm and prevent a host of problems like flooding.
Unfortunately, like other parts of your home, gutter systems may fail due to a variety of reasons — such as poor installation, extreme weather conditions or a lack of maintenance. One common sign that your gutter system is in bad shape is when water pools in the gutters or backs up onto your roof.
If you fail to act quickly, these are just some of the possible consequences that you might have to face:
Insects like mosquitoes and flies often use standing water as a breeding ground. By letting rain water stagnant in your gutters, you are inviting insects and pests into your home.
Flooding and Mold in the Basement
Stagnant water in your gutters may eventually overflow. This overflowing water can drench the soil around your home, leaking into your foundation. This can cause excessive moisture in your basement. Mold may start to grow along your basement walls. Flooding, or even dampness, can eventually damage your walls and ceilings as well as any furniture or belongings in your basement. It can also create an unpleasant environment in your basement since excessive moisture often causes damp air and a moldy smell.
Increased Pressure on the Foundation
When water is deposited near your foundation and it stagnates in that area, this can put extra pressure on your foundation. Puddles of stagnant water around your home indicate that the soil underneath is fully saturated with water. This heavy, water-laden soil can create pressure on the sides of your foundation, which can result in bulging or cracked walls in your basement.
Another problem that can result from the increased pressure on your foundation is the shifting and setting of your home’s foundation. A settling foundation usually leads to uneven floors and cracks in the walls or foundation. It can also cause cracks or shifts in other areas of your home, such as your chimney and awnings.
Gutter Maintenance Tips for Homeowners in Raleigh, NC
To avoid the issues mentioned above, adhere to proper gutter maintenance. By regularly cleaning and maintaining your gutter system, you can ensure the efficient flow of water through your gutters and downspouts. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Schedule your gutter cleaning at the end of each spring and fall season. This way, you can avoid dirt and debris buildup, which can add excessive weight to your gutters. Remember that if there is too much weight placed on the gutter fasteners, this may cause them to pull away from your home.
- Prepare the tools and equipment for the task. Some of the basic tools that you’ll need for gutter cleaning are: gloves, hose and ladder. Better yet, hire a professional to handle the job, since they have the right tools and know the proper techniques for gutter cleaning.
- Consider installing gutter guards to minimize the dirt, leaves and sticks that end up in your downspouts and gutters. Gutter guards can help reduce the upkeep that your gutters need, and they can also protect the system against damage.
If you decide to clean your gutters yourself, make sure to adhere to these safety guidelines:
- Use the ladder properly. Though it is tedious to climb down and reposition the ladder a number of times, this is the only safe way to clean your gutters. Avoid overreaching because this can cause you to lose your balance and fall. Make sure that the ladder is leaning against your siding, not on the gutter itself.
- Ensure that you have the right tools for cleaning gutters. This will make the task easier for you, enabling you to do a better job. If you don’t have the right tools, your technique might not be as effective or thorough, which may cause your gutters to clog more frequently. Sprays, vacuums and broom-like tools are accessible and easy to use. However, they are not the ideal tools for getting rid of dirt and debris in the gutters. Depending on the type and amount of debris that you need to remove, such tools may not be able to fully unclog your gutters.
- Wear the proper clothes and footwear. Closed shoes with rubber soles are the best choice for this task because they provide traction to reduce the risk of slipping. Make sure to wear safety goggles and work gloves too. These precautions may seem excessive for a seemingly “easy” job like gutter cleaning–but they aren’t. Cleaning gutters takes time and effort, and it requires you to work at a great height, thus exposing you to some risks. Always prioritize your safety.