They say the best defense is a good offense—and this phrase also rings true when talking about your gutters. Some homeowners are unaware of why clean gutters matter for the sake of their homes (and their wallets).
Why do clean gutters matter? Your home’s gutter system is designed to flush water and debris away from your home and landscaping. Without properly working gutters, water can leak into the roof and foundation of your home or erode the soil near your foundation—leading to major and costly problems for your house and yes, a big insurance headache.
How homeowners insurance applies to your gutters
Here’s what you need to know about clean gutters and your homeowners insurance.
- Gutters are covered under the dwelling coverage portion of a standard homeowners insurance policy, which insures the structure of your home. But this coverage only accounts for unexpected perils (such as hail damage, damage by a vehicle, theft, and more).
- Homeowners insurance will not cover damage to gutters caused by poor maintenance or preventable problems. Worn down or damaged gutters that result from things like leaf build-up, rodent infestations, and mold or mildew are not covered in your insurance policy, and repairing or replacing your gutters will be entirely your responsibility.
- Not cleaning your gutters can shorten their lifespan. The average lifespan of your gutters should be anywhere from 20 to 50 years, but that time will also be much shorter if your gutters aren’t cleaned and maintained. The cost of replacing your gutters can average anywhere from $600-$4000+ depending upon the size of your home and the materials and labor required.
This is why clean gutters matter and maintaining them is a vital part of preventing larger home disasters and repairs. You can’t count on your homeowners insurance to cover all your gutter needs—time to be your own hero and take care of those gutters.
Three ways to maintain your gutters
Now that you know why clean gutters are important, here are three ways you can maintain your gutters and protect your home from costly damage.
- Clean your gutters at least twice a year. The recommended seasons for gutter cleaning are springtime and fall. In the spring, you want to clear away any debris left behind from winter storms and ice, and make sure your gutters are clear of mud and muck that can become an unwanted hanging garden for weeds. In the fall, you want to clean out leaves and twigs to prepare for the winter ice and snow that you want to drain quickly away from your roof and foundation.
- Check your gutters after large storms. Storms can damage your gutters or clog them with debris blown in by strong winds. Also check to make sure your gutters and downspouts are still firmly attached and working properly.
- Keep bushes and trees growing near your gutters trimmed. Plants that constantly drop debris are a key player in clogged and dirty gutters. They also create an open invitation for animals to consider your gutters prime real estate. As cute as baby animals are, they become less cute when they chew their way into your attic or when their warm nests become a hotbed of mold and bacteria. Keeping the debris and the wildlife in check will make cleaning your gutters easier and keep your home safer.
How do I clean my gutters?
Some homeowners are daunted by the idea of cleaning their gutters—mental images of falling off a ladder in front of the whole neighborhood make the idea of self-cleaning unappealing. But the cost of hiring a company to clean their gutters is also a hard pill to swallow. With Gutter Sense, it’s possible to have the best of both worlds, an affordable price, and a safe (and fun) way to clean your gutters that doesn’t land you flat on your back or strapped for cash. Our easy-to-use gutter cleaning tool is lightweight, effective, and safe to use.
Homeowners insurance will only take you so far in maintaining your gutters and protecting your home from damage—let Gutter Sense take you the rest of the way.