Are alligators coming up from the sewers to live in your gutters this year? Perhaps not, but there could be many other scary things living in your gutters if you’re not diligent about cleaning them. From mold and algae to wasp colonies, there are many dangers that could lurk in your gutters.
What Can Live In Your Gutters?
If you keep your leaves in the gutter into the spring and summer months, chances are you’ll attract interest from animals that need leaves to build their homes. These include the paper wasp, which can even nest inside gutters and downspouts. According to The Handy Guys, at one person’s home, “The nest was cleverly built on the inside of the spout away from the water which washes down the outside of the spout.” While wasps are excellent predators, having a nest in or around your home is not necessarily safe for people.
Small animals such as mice can also live in your gutters, since they provide food such as seeds and shelter such as leaves. If you have rotten siding or fascia boards, these animals can eat into your home, causing damage and the potential for disease.
What Can Grow In Your Gutters?
If water or debris is stuck in your gutters, this makes your gutter seem like the forest floor. In fact, it’s the perfect location for all kinds of plants to grow. These include:
Algae: Algae can grow in your gutter if you have a little bit of water, even if you don’t have any other debris in the gutter. This makes it hard to clean your gutters, and if you can’t clean your gutters, you can’t see where the problems lie. For instance, you could have rust that is damaging your gutters, but if there is a thick layer of algae on the bottom, it will hide that rust.
Plants: Small annual plants and even young trees will begin to grow in your gutters if you’re not careful. That’s because all of the leaves and moisture and sunlight provide an excellent place for those trees to grow. If you ignore them for long enough, these plants can add weight to your gutters, making them more likely to warp and pull off of the house.
All of these plants and animals that live in your gutters cause other problems: namely, gutter damage and ultimately leaks. These leaks can hurt your roof, damage your fascia boards, and run down your siding and onto your foundation. Not only do they cause structural damage to your home, but they can also lead to mold and algae growth on other parts of your home such as your siding. According to RTK Environmental, “When not properly cleaned and maintained, leaf debris builds up and water eventually surges over the top of gutters—and that’s the making of a disaster.”
Preventing Scary Gutters
If you look up at your gutters with a feeling of trepidation, you’re not alone. In fact, many people want to avoid cleaning their gutters, and they do. However, if they just let those gutters sit with leaves, water, moss, and plants growing in them, their gutters can become a disaster. If you don’t want to clean your gutters again, look at other options such as gutter covers. With a proper gutter cover, you can ensure that your gutters will remain clean and clear of problematic leaves, sticks, and other objects, and you don’t need to worry about standing in a ladder.
By maintaining your gutters or adding gutter covers, you can prevent many gutter problems. Are you looking for a professional who can tell you more about how gutter covers could work on your home? Talk with Harry Helmet about gutter covers and gutter heat. Schedule a free estimate today.