Even when the change of seasons seems slight in many areas of California, paying attention to the calendar for routine repair and maintenance tasks is important. As winter comes your roof and gutters deserve a closer look. Ensuring that the rain during winter has a clear pathway is key to protecting your building from water damage.
Clean gutters and downspouts will guide water off your roof and along prescribed patterns that ensure keeping your building dry. Overflowing gutters and clogged downspouts are not just simple annoyances, they actually impair the ability of the protective coverings to do their work.
Roofs, siding, stucco, brick, and the cinderblock or concrete of a foundation are intended to keep unwanted substances, particularly water, out. Without proper maintenance at the points where water meets your building’s structure, a series of grave catastrophes can occur. Here are your risks when proper and regular gutter maintenance is neglected:
Roof Components Fail
If the water pushes back up under the shingles or shakes that comprise the protective covering, there are going to be significant problems. All parts of the roofing system have their role, and the job gutters and downspouts are assigned to move the water from the edge of the roof to its ultimate destination many feet from the foundation.
Water that has nowhere to flow because leaves and other debris and residue block its way has to go somewhere. As the water pools up in the choked gutters that place becomes under the roofing materials and into your building. Primarily decorative elements like soffits and fascia board to provide an anchor for the gutters and downspouts, but if they also become waterlogged they will disintegrate and the gutters will loosen and even fall off the roof’s edge.
Leaves, sticks, and animal droppings make it impossible for any water flowing in the gutters to exit the area via downspouts. The entire blueprint of gutters and drains requires that there be no obstacles to the flow of rainwater. It is just like the problem of a clogged up sink, with water going everywhere but the intended route.
Microbial And Algae Growth
Stagnant water becomes home to some pretty damaging substances when gutters and drains are blocked. Algae blooms and can cause significant damage to the gutter hardware itself and makes its way inside your house under the shingles and along the waterlogged flashing.
When water gets into the building there becomes a real and present danger of mold growth. Mold spores are always present in both the indoor and outdoor environments. Water activates the spores through absorption. All the mold needs to grow and multiply further is an organic surface.
Soffits, fascia, roof decking, and many siding materials provide this growing area and food source for mold. Once the water makes its way inside, wood framing, drywall, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, insulation, carpeting, and much more familiar surfaces fit the bill.
Mold damages building materials, it also produces airborne substances that can adversely affect the health of susceptible people, including those who suffer from asthma, allergies, and immunity challenges. It does not require light, so it can grow undetected in between walls, under floors, within insulation, and a wide range of other places.
Foundation And Landscaping Damage
Runoff from your roof must be diverted away from the foundation, which is an essential purpose of your gutter and drainage system. When sheets of water pound the ground instead of flowing several feet away, the moisture often enters crawl spaces and foundations, weakening the structure of your building. Damage to storage areas and HVAC or plumbing systems are also possible.
Any landscaping done near can be destroyed in one storm if the gutters and downspouts are clogged. Waterfalls smash plantings and erode mulch or other protective ground coverings. Lawns turn to mud, and pavement can be undermined.
Take the time to plan and follow through with gutter and downspout cleaning before winter arrives in California. You avoid many pressing issues that could damage your commercial building and imperil your health.
Think about hiring a reliable gutter cleaner, and ask about permanent solutions to leaf and other litter, like protective coverings. A little planning goes a long way to maintaining this critical configuration intended to shield your building from water damage.