If you live in an area where rain and snow occur (Let’s face it– that’s almost everywhere!), you need to be concerned with water entering your home from outdoors. This unwanted water can cause a lot of damage within your home.
Causes of Water Damage
There are several reasons why your home can sustain water damage. These include having a flat roof on your house, leaky pipes, faulty appliances, clogged drains, etc. But a significant cause of water damage can be from broken or faulty gutters. Additionally, if open gutters aren’t cleaned regularly, they won’t do the job they should, which is to push the water into and through the downspouts.
The purpose of gutters is to drain the water from the roof from rain or melting snow. The gutters should be designed to push the water away so that it doesn’t sit by your home’s foundation.
How Clogged Gutters Can Damage Your Home
Clogged gutters are almost like having no gutters at all. Falling leaves, tree limbs and other debris build up in the gutters, causing a blockage. Instead of flowing through the gutters to the downspouts, a lot of the water flows over the gutters, down the side of the house. The water remains at the base of the house, which can result in the water seeping through tiny cracks in the foundation and into the soil. If the water at the foundation freezes, it can deteriorate the foundation as well.
Even if the exterior of your home has siding, which does resist rainfall and splashing somewhat, it isn’t totally waterproof. Large amounts running down the exterior walls can penetrate to the wood behind the siding, which will eventually penetrate the interior walls.
The accumulated debris in gutters can make the gutters very heavy when a lot of water is added to them. This weight can crack or break the gutters, or pull the fascia loose from the roof. This can allow water to enter through the roof and into the attic and ceilings of the home’s interior. It can saturate any insulation in the home, reducing its effectiveness.
Mold Can Grow When Moisture Is Present
It doesn’t take much moisture or time for mold to grow. It can grow on a damp surface within 24 hours. Mold growth is common in moist or humid areas. If water seeps indoors, it can often be behind walls, in ceilings and in other areas that aren’t immediately noticeable. This can result in mold growing undetected.
Mold can lead to health issues, especially in people sensitive to it. The mold on surfaces releases spores into the air that are not visible to the naked eye. When inhaled, they can cause a variety of health problems.
Anyone exposed to mold can have adverse reactions to it; even pets can be impacted. Especially vulnerable are the elderly, the very young, and people with respiratory or autoimmune diseases.
Keeping your gutters clean and clear of debris will help prevent water from seeping into your foundation, walls or roof. Better yet, having K-Guard gutters installed will keep your gutters unclogged without you worrying about it.
This post was written by Kevin Finn, owner of St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration. St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration does commercial and residential water damage restoration, fire restoration and mold remediation. They also perform several types of cleaning services, including carpets, air ducts, upholstery, dryer vents, commercial kitchen hood cleaning and more. They’ve been doing business in the St. Louis metropolitan area for over 20 years and are available for emergency services 24/7.