As the leaves fall and the rain arrives, you have to worry about the possible clogging of gutters around the home. It is a pain to get on a ladder and clean them, but health experts point out that this chore may be integral to your overall health. That’s right, folks, your health is not only dependent on what’s inside your home, but what’s outside as well.
The main purpose of gutters is to divert rainwater away from your house. The gutters funnel it down downspouts and onto the ground. The falling leaves or debris from trees can accumulate in gutters and cause blockages. If water cannot flow out the downspouts, then it can seep into your home and begin the molding process. Not only does this ruin indoor air quality, but it also increases the risk of allergies and poor respiratory health.
Because gutters help defend your home against water damage, it is your responsibility to make sure they are clean. Removing leaves and other debris can make it so that rainwater drains efficiently and keeps your home safe from leaks. The last thing you want is for clogged gutters to cause moisture build-up inside your home.
Why Is Mold Bad?
Besides the fact that it is disgusting to look at, mold can irritate the respiratory system and worsen lung or breathing problems. Even if you aren’t allergic to mold, you can still develop allergy-like symptoms when exposed to it. The most common reactions to mold include itchy eyes, stuffy nose, wheezing, or irritated skin after inhalation. Reactions can be more serious for people with pre-existing respiratory conditions, including emphysema, COPD, asthma, or those with mold allergies. Common reactions for that group after mold exposure include shortness of breath, chest tightness, respiratory infections, and intense coughing. In some cases, mold may trigger the onset of new health issues. Inhaling or touching mold spores may also cause someone to become allergic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Link Between Clogged Gutters And Mold Growth
First off, blocked or clogged gutters can create unnecessary strain on the gutters, putting them at risk for falling. Cleaning them two to three times per year is a great practice, but you may need to do it more often in the fall and winter, depending on where you live. Clogged gutters also invite dangerous pests to reside in them. Wasps, specifically, can build very large nests in clogged gutters and become a serious hazard quickly.
In regards to your health, though, clogged gutters can hold the combination of stagnant water, decaying matter, and debris. When the sun cooks these three, it essentially bakes mildew and increases the risk for other disease-ridden residues. When mold seeps into the siding of your home, it can collect inside your interior. Not only does this cause respiratory problems, but it can also damage your home’s foundation. Plus, any moisture build-up leads to quicker mold growth! Because you spend a significant amount of time in your home, you want to make sure it is as healthy as it can be. Follow the tips below to avoid clogged gutters!
How To Clean Your Gutters
Keep water and mold growth out of your home by clearing debris and leaves from your gutters. There are a few rules you can follow to have the cleanest gutters ever:
- Always check your gutters every one to two months for debris build-up. You may be able to get away with doing it less often, but this depends on where you live. It also depends if you have gutter guards, which can be very beneficial if you live near a lot of trees.
- You’ll need a ladder, tarp, and heavy-duty rubber gloves. Spread out the tarp before you head up the ladder. Make sure that the tarp covers the area under the ladder, so that it catches whatever debris you toss down. Things will get messy, so make sure you put on the rubber gloves.
- Remove all leaves, sticks, dirt, and other debris you see from the gutters and pull it out by hand. Toss it down onto the tarp and don’t try to push it down the downspout.
- Once you remove the majority of the clutter, use a garden hose to spray away any small leftover pieces.