The Importance of Gutter & Downspout Maintenance for Mold Prevention

April 30, 2020 • Maintenance Tips, Prevention

indoor mold growth ohio

The Importance of Downspout & Gutter Maintenance

Clogged or damaged gutters and downspouts can lead to a variety of water-related issues like roof damage, foundation damage, water damage and indoor mold growth. Gutters and downspouts are designed to collect water runoff from the roof and divert the water down and away from the building structure. Damaged or clogged gutters and downspouts cannot effectively collect and divert water from the structure. This can allow water buildup at the roof, siding and foundation walls. With time, this can mean water damage, mold development and significant property damage that will require an expensive repair or remediation. It is important to conduct regular checks of your gutters and downspouts to make sure they are in good condition, free of debris and obstructions, and in working order.

  1. Wall Leaks – Water collected from clogged gutters will cascade down your exterior walls. With that, moisture can begin to penetrate through to your interior walls overtime.
  2. Foundation Issues – Failing gutters will force rainwater to collect at the base of your home because it has no where else to go. Pooling water around your foundation can cause foundation damage and allow water intrusion into your basement or crawl space. Additionally, if your downspouts are not effectively diverting water far enough away from your foundation walls, this will become a problem as well.
  3. Roof Damage – A gutter clog can force rainwater to buildup at the roof, seep under the shingles and ultimately lead to a roof leak (if left unaddressed).

Gutter & Downspout Maintenance Tips for Cleveland Ohio Homeowners

Gutter and downspout maintenance is often pretty simple and fairly inexpensive, but it can go a long way in preventing serious damage and major, expensive repairs. It is important for Cleveland homeowners to take gutter and downspout maintenance seriously. Here are some gutter and downspout tips that may help.

  1. Conduct Maintenance Checks – Conduct routine checks to make sure your gutters and downspouts are in good condition in working order. If you see signs of damage, repair the damage right away.
  2. Complete Routine Cleaning – Conduct routine checks to make sure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris. Clean they them as needed.
  3. Install Gutter Guards – Gutter guards help to keep debris out of your gutter and reduce need for frequent cleanings. But even with gutter guards, it is still good to make a habit of checking your gutters to make sure nothing gets lodged in the crevices.
  4. Secure Gutters & Downspouts – Make sure that your gutters are securely attached to your home. Check all rivets for damage or rust as an unsecured rain gutter can cause a lot of damage. Your downspout should be securely attached and not connected to your foundation footer drain tiles or to underground dry wells
  5. Extend Downspouts – Downspouts need to funnel water a safe distance away from the structure. Not all downspout are created equal. Downspouts should extend as least three to six feet away from the home depending on the situation. If you see that water buildup is an issue at your foundation walls, you may need to extend your downspouts or possibly install a drain pipe.
  6. Trim Back Trees – Routine trimmings of exiting trees, foliage or bushes near your home will limit the amount of debris (leaves, branches, etc.) that can fall into your gutters and downspouts. Try to plant new trees and bushes away from the building structure.

When dealing with any home maintenance project, it is important to appreciate your own limitations. If you do not feel comfortable checking and cleaning your own gutters, or if you do not feel like you can safely or effectively do the work on your own, let the professionals help. Because, improper maintenance and be equally as damaging as no maintenance. When it comes to your home, it is important to do the work properly. If you need help with your gutters, roof, foundation or other home maintenance project, contact a trained and experienced professional in Cleveland or the Cuyahoga County Ohio area.

If you discover that a gutter issue or downspout issue has caused an underlying water problem for your Ohio property, you should consult a professional. Water buildup and water intrusion from a failed gutter or downspout system can lead to serious water damage and mold development that may require professional mold remediation and water damage cleanup. If you suspect a potential mold problem or water damage problem, a certified mold inspector in the Cleveland OH area can conduct a thorough assessment and get to the bottom of your concerns. 

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