We get it – it’s easy to turn a blind eye to blocked and messy gutters. They may be an eyesore, but there are more pressing things to deal with, right? Not so fast. Gutters are designed to collect water and safely dispatch it to a building’s sewer system. When this system is compromised due to blockage, coupled with the steady rain common in spring, damage to the structure’s roof is the most common result.
Let’s start at the beginning. When debris builds up in a building’s gutters, it can cause flat roofs ubiquitous in many commercial structures to bow, and guttering to sag. This will result in an ineffective drainage system, leading to flooding, structural damage, and costly repairs. A well-maintained gutter system, cleaned on a periodic schedule, will prolong the integrity of your investment.
Dangers of Clogged Gutters
- Debris and Mold Damage. Debris packed in guttering prevents the down-flow of rain, leaving surface water weighing heavily on the roof, causing leaks and damage. Even if water manages to make its way off the roof, it will cascade down the building and away from drains, causing destruction on its way. And as grimy water settles, a slip-and-fall risk is created on the ground below, increasing liability. Standing water, whether on the roof, walls, or ground, creates a habitat for mold. And a moldy roof, in particular, is far more expensive to repair than the price of routine gutter-clearing.
- You may love Wildlife; your Gutters don’t. Wildlife seeks quiet places to call home, and gutters full of leaves, sticks, twigs, and moss provide the haven rats, mice, hedgehogs, and birds crave. Also common are flying pests like bees and wasps. Once these critters set up camp in gutters, the building’s interior is that much more attainable for them.
- Structural Deterioration. Harm to the building’s foundation is another by-product of blocked guttering. The weight of industrial gutters, full of dense and damp foliage, puts real strain on the outer structure. Fallen gutters are a common occurrence when not cleared on a periodic schedule. And when water is stuck in the gutter system, unable to drain, moisture invades the internal structure, degrading its stability through cracks and erosion.
The solution to avoiding the risks of a neglected drainage system is straightforward: get your gutters on a maintenance schedule and stick with it. Equally important is hiring the right professional to do this work. Because commercial gutter cleaning requires “working at height,” it’s important to find a contractor trained and accustomed to this elevated work environment to avoid workforce injury. Clearing gutters may sound easy, but simple jobs become complicated at height, especially when unknown inhabitants could be encountered. Debris inside gutters can be surprisingly heavy and difficult to clear, adding to the challenge.
Castro Roofing has 33 years of experience in commercial roof maintenance and is well-positioned to advise on its care. Visit castroroofing.com or call 214.273.0166for answers to all your industrial roofing concerns.