While homeowners are right in thinking that winter is the season to be on the lookout for gutter problems, summer can take its toll on a gutter system in different ways. Regardless of an early spring gutter cleaning, clogged gutters can occur at anytime of the year. Here are some summer gutter problems to watch out for.
If cleaning the gutters hasn’t been a regular home maintenance task, debris collecting in a gutter system, especially moist debris, can attract insects, birds, and rodents. Accumulated twigs, seed pods, pollen, dirt and leaves make excellent nest-building materials. Nests don’t just clog gutters – they provide homes to wildlife that can harm you, your family, and your home’s exterior.
Take into account the type and number of trees you have on your property. Different kinds of trees shed at different times of year. Flowering and fruit trees, for example, lose their blossoms in late spring but shed their leaves in the fall, whereas pine trees shed their needles year-round. They might look too small to cause trouble, but a build-up of pine needles can slow down the normal flow of water, leading to overflowing gutters or standing water in the gutter system.
Pooling water beneath downspouts might be a sign of the following:
- Clogged gutters
- Leaking gutters
- Clogged downspouts
- Downspouts draining too close to the house
- Ground sloping toward the house
When pooling water is a recurring issue, summer is the ideal time to discover the source and fix the problem:
- Clean the gutters
- Seal leaking gutter seams
- Check downspouts for blockages
- Add downspout extenders or splash blocks if downspouts don’t drain far enough away from the foundation
- Ensure the landscaping around your home slopes away from the foundation
Mold and Moss Growth
Debris allowed to collect in the gutters eventually decomposes. Add a little moisture to the mix and a gutter system can become the perfect breeding ground for mold. Unfortunately, the higher summer temperatures only encourage mold growth. If not removed from the gutters or your home’s exterior, it can invade the inside your home as well.
Moss growing in the gutters isn’t directly a health issue. However, if growth is extensive, it weighs a gutter system down, resulting is problems such as sagging gutters and overflowing gutters. While direct sunlight can burn moss and indirect sunlight hinders moss growth, dealing with it is easier in the summer months than in the fall or spring.
As summer temperatures rise and the days heat up, so can your gutters. If leaves have collected in the gutter system, summer sun can dry them out – just one little spark can start a fire. Particularly if sections of the gutter system get a lot of direct sunlight, check the gutters for any leaf accumulation and clear it away.
Summer storms are a reality. Even just one wind storm can deposit a lot of organic materials such as dirt, bits of bark, twigs, and silt into the gutter system; a single heavy rainstorm can send a lot of water through the gutters and downspouts. If gutters aren’t clear of debris clogs might form in the gutter channel or the downpipes. After a rain or wind storm, inspect the aluminum gutters for damage.