Why Cleaning Your Gutters and Downspouts Is Important

Why is it important to clean your gutters and downspouts?

Owning a home requires maintenance, which is why it’s so important to purchase home insurance in Alberta. Protecting yourself from unexpected costs associated with rain and wind damage, fire, vandalism, or theft is vital.

Home insurance in Alberta goes a long way toward protecting your finances where your home is concerned. However, there are some things you need to do to protect your house from unforeseen damage outside these boundaries.

One thing you can do to keep your home from deteriorating is cleaning your gutters and downspouts. Gutters draw water away from your roof and drain toward downspouts, which lead the water to a safe space to drain.

At Bow Valley Insurance, we are a leader in home insurance in Calgary and know all about the benefits of the proper gutter clearing. Here are some of the reasons you should be regularly clearing your gutters and downspouts.

Pest Control

From bugs to birds, unwelcome visitors love finding moist debris to build nests and forage for food in. If you leave your gutters unchecked, it could lead insects and small animals to your roof.

The thought of little creatures on your roof may appear vexing at first. The bigger issue is that these tiny creatures often don’t stay outside on your roof. They will look for small openings in your house to get inside. You could therefore wind up with bats, squirrels, and bugs in your attic.

Such unwelcome guests bring dirt, bacteria, and disease. They leave excrement in your home, and in the case of rodents, may chew through walls and wires.

Cost Reduction

Cleaning your gutters twice a year not only removes the built-up debris, but it also saves you money over time.

Leaving your gutters blocked leads to damage, which leads to repairs. While your home insurance in Calgary will cover repairs for damage caused by falling objects, the wind, and similar circumstances, it will not protect you against damage caused through wear and tear or where regular maintenance is required. 

This leaves you with paying out of pocket to rebuild gutters, or worse, fix leaks or a weakened foundation caused by your broken gutter drainage.

Rot and Mold Deterrent

As gutters and downspouts are meant to lead water away from your home, when they’re not properly functioning, this water stays put. Some rainwater may roll off, but what collects in your drains and pools on your roof will cause problems, including:

  • Warped roof shingles
  • Rot
  • Mold
  • Corrosion

Mold and rot eat away at your roof and the materials beneath it. This causes irreparable harm to your home and could be quite costly to repair.

Your roof will last much longer if your gutters and downspouts are clearing water normally. Along with getting routine gutter cleanings, have your roof inspected once a year for necessary repairs.

Proper Drainage Away From Your Roof

This speaks for itself, but it’s important to note that leaving this pooling water on your roof could lead to much bigger problems. A major issue that homeowners face when gutters are left uncleared for too long is leaky ceilings.

Over time, your roof tiles warp enough that water gets in underneath the broken seal. This water drips into your home, eventually causing leaks to form in your ceilings and floors. Clearing the debris from your gutters and downspout gives water an escape route.

Water on your roof will follow the laws of gravity. When we remove the option for it to travel through a downspout, the water either settles or begins dripping into your home. It could be years before you realize the extent of the damage to your roof because many Canadians visit their attic spaces so infrequently.

Mold and rot in your attic are thus extremely dangerous, and could lead to a ceiling collapse.

Foundation Protectant

It seems extreme, but leaving gutters unchecked could have a lasting impact on your foundation.

As water remains blocked in gutters and downspouts, cold winter weather freezes the water, thus causing it to expand and crack. Sometimes, this causes walls and even the foundation of your home to crack as well.

How to Clean Your Drains

The average Canadian home needs its gutters cleaned twice a year: right before the winter season, when autumn has brought down all the leaves on your property; and before summer, when spring blooms and sends pollen and petals in the breeze.

You can hire a landscaping service to maintain your gutters. However, if you choose to clear your rain gutters on your own, follow these steps:

  • Remove the bottom section of the downspout. This keeps falling branches and filth from falling into the downspout and getting caught.
  • Place a bucket beneath your gutter to catch water and debris that comes down from the roof.
  • Climb up to the top of the roof so you can easily access the gutters.
  • Clear easy-to-grab items like twigs and branches.

Once large debris is cleared, pour water into the drain to ensure it is clear and draining. If you clean your own gutters, be extremely careful. Climbing onto a roof for gutter clearing is best left to the professionals.

Use a ladder, bring a spotter to watch the base of the ladder, and remain steady as you work. Don’t try to lean over to reach spots further away. Instead, climb down and move the ladder as necessary.

Contact Bow Valley Insurance Today

We want to help. Bow Valley Insurance is a leader in home insurance products. We strive to protect our clients and their assets by providing customized insurance solutions. If you’d like to get in touch with one of our experienced agents to discuss insurance products,  we’re here to help. Call us at 1-800-332-1308 or request a quote online.

Coverage is subject to policy wording, terms, conditions, and deductibles. Protection is limited to the perils, coverage, exclusions, and limits shown on the policy