Yes, your home does need gutters. They may not look like much, but gutters form the first, and often only line of defense for your home and foundation against inclement weather. These channels made of metal or vinyl material serve to re-direct the water from storms that frequent the Arlington area away from the exterior walls of your home, and the foundation. If water infiltrates the walls of your home, or seeps into the foundation, there is the potential for a whole host of water damage effect problems and health concerns that can become troublesome. These can include such things mold growth, interior leaking, roof damage, and even foundation subsidence.
The Importance of Keeping Water at Bay
Water may be vital to life, but it can certainly cause significant damage to your home. Water over time can cause significant damage to nearly every part of your home, including the roofing system, the walls, the interior portion of your home, and even what your home is built upon. For example, if water infiltrates the roof area, and gets underneath roof shingles, it can start to cause the underlying roof decking to rot away. It can also cause the wood to swell, which can lead to the shingles not fitting together properly. This can lead to more potential places for leaks to occur and more cost to incur.
If water gets into the exterior walls or between vinyl siding and the exterior of your home, a significant health hazard can be created. The infiltration of water in these areas can create places that are dark and moist. That’s a perfect recipe for mold growth. And while some molds are perfectly fine, something like black mold, which is pretty common, can lead to breathing problems and allergic reactions, such as asthma, and headaches.
Water, if it gets into your foundation can also cause significant problems. First, water infiltration can lead to the foundation cracking, since water will expand when frozen. Simply put, the water infiltrates through various pore spaces, expands when frozen, and will cause the pore spaces to expand and form cracks. Another, more common way that cracks can form is through water causing the clay in the soils under your home to expand. This can lead to one portion of your home to be higher than the other. When the soil drains away eventually, the soil will contract. This leads to the foundation “settling”. Of course, a concrete foundation isn’t exactly flexible, so cracks do occur.
Keeping You and Your Home Safe
No one will argue that gutters aren’t exactly the prettiest of things that are vital to your home. However, they don’t have to be something beautiful to be useful. So the next time you’re considering just scraping your entire gutter system, think again. Gutters can serve as your loyal protectors, when properly maintained and unclogged from leaves and other debris, it will keep both you and your home safe from the inclement weather and dangers of the outside world.