Spring is upon us, which means spring showers. During the spring, Colorado gets a lot of rain and wet weather, which means lots of plant matter and foliage can work their way into gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to water rot and structural damage of your roof, as well as increase the risk of fire to the structures they are installed to protect.
Clogged Gutters: Leaves, Pine Needles, and Snow Melt
Colorado gets about 20% more rain during the wet season than the rest of the year, and with all that rain comes a lot of foliage and other debris onto roofs and into the gutters. Common gutter debris during Colorado’s wet season includes leaves, pine needles, dirt and snow melt. Clogged gutters can lead to serious structural and water damage to your home.
Your gutter system can also get clogged by various animals and pests. Mice, birds, squirrels, and insects can build nests in gutters, leading to clogs and backups. Pests not only increase the risk of gutter and downspout clogs but can also create a health risk.
Ice Dams from Snow Melt
Ice dams from snow melt are another common cause of gutter clogs. Ice dams form after snow melts on your roof and refreezes over your gutters. Ice dams cause water to flow over the edge of your roof instead of through your gutter system. This can lead to flooding around your home and water infiltration into your roof and home.
Regularly cleaning your gutters can remove snow materials and prevent ice dams from forming. Preventing ice dams can save you money on costly repairs from flooding and water damage.
Tips for Keeping Gutters Clean
Aside from professional gutter cleaning services and installing gutter guards, which are best, homeowners have several ways to prevent clogged gutters.
1. Trim Nearby Trees
Clogged gutters can be the result of leaves, pine needles, sticks, and other plant materials ending up on the roof and making their way to the gutters. One of the most effective ways to prevent gutter clogs is by keeping nearby trees and vegetation trimmed and clean. After fall and winter, trees might have dropped a lot of dead branches and leaves into your gutters.
2. Adjust the Gutter Angle
Gutters require a specific angle so they can drain off the water most efficiently. You want at least one-fourth of an inch of downward slope every ten feet. If you do not have enough of an angle, gravity cannot empty the contents, so clogs can form.
We recommend getting a level and seeing what kind of angle your gutters have. If the angle is too slight, you should call a local gutter cleaning or roofing company, or we can inspect them when we install Gutter Helmet gutter guards and adjust if necessary.
3. Install Splash Guards
Gutters remove water from the roof and redirect it to the ground. Heavy rainfall can cause dirt to splash back up into your gutters and onto the exterior siding of your home. Excessive dirt can clog downspouts, making it harder for gutters to drain water.
Splash guards go near the base of your home and prevent dirt disturbance from heavy water flow. Splash guards not only prevent downspouts from clogging but also prevent water from running into the foundation of your home, preventing structural damage.
Clogged Gutters Increase Fire Risk in Colorado
Many homeowners do not realize it, but clogged gutters can significantly increase fire risk. Colorado gets very dry during the summer, and fires are common in pine forests. Plant material in gutters can act as kindling for fires.
For example, a spark or ember from a nearby heat source can catch plant material alight. Even a spark from something small like a grill or firepit can ignite clogged plant material. Even worse, compacted plant material burns for a long time, so the fire damage may not immediately be obvious.
Other sources of fires include fireworks, hot weather and even lightning bolts. Cleaning or covering your gutters removes the accumulation of fuel for fires, drastically reducing the risk of fire damage. Fire damage risk can be further reduced by installing gutter guards and even roofing made from flame-resistant materials. In fact, Jefferson County has instituted code Z104.4 that requires a gutter protection in order to combat the danger of wildfires. Gutter Helmet is a great solution for this requirement.
Cleaning Your Gutters Can Be Dangerous — Cover Them Instead with Gutter Guards
One way to prevent clogged gutters is to install gutter guards. Guards provide a high level of gutter protection by preventing the buildup of dirt, leaves, pine needles and other debris. Installing gutter guards remove the need to ever clean your gutters again.
Gutter guards, or gutter screens, protect your gutter from debris buildup and clogs. Gutter guards attach over the top of gutters and keep debris, critters, insects and plant material out while letting water in for draining purposes.
Most gutter guards use a metal mesh with small perforations to act as a sieve to filter plant material out of the flowing water. An even better type of gutter guard is made up of a solid panel that covers the top of gutters, allowing water through a small opening in the edge. Gutter guards provide many benefits:
● Improve water flow
● Reduce fire hazard
● Prevent formation of ice dams
● Protect the structural integrity of your home
● Avoid pest infestations (e.g., mice, squirrels, birds, insects, etc.)
Call Us at Gutter Helmet of Greater Denver and Northern Colorado – 303.298.8888
Gutter Helmet® is the world’s leading gutter protection system. At Gutter Helmet of Greater Denver and Northern Colorado, we are proud to offer our trademark gutter guards to Colorado homeowners. Our specialized guards, which come with a lifetime warranty, can keep debris out of your gutters and redirect water flow to reduce the risk of overflow and flooding.
We have been serving the Denver and Northern Colorado community for over 40 years, and our team of gutter technicians have a wide range of experience with gutter repairs and maintenance services.
If you would like to learn more about our gutter cleaning and repair services or have questions about our signature Gutter Helmet® gutter guards, please contact us online or give us a call today at (303) 298-8888! We look forward to connecting with you!
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