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Denver Roofing: Article About The Importance Of Cleaning Gutters

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Gutters can fill with debris very quickly, especially in the autumn when leaves are falling from trees and storms are frequent. Chronically clogged gutters can seriously damage the roof of a home, requiring help from a Denver roofing contractor.

When leaves, pine needles and other debris clog a gutter, at first, some water may flow through. As debris continues to accumulate and is exposed to water, it will break down into compost. This dense material can clog gutters completely and prevent them from directing water away from the home's foundation. Rainwater will have no place to go and can flow over the edges of the gutters. It will also soak into the wood surrounding the gutters. Additionally, if water backing up into clogged gutters is unable to flow away from the home, it can pool in areas around the foundation, which can leak into the basement or cause structural damage.

The wooden structure that a gutter is attached to is called the fascia. It is attached to the edges of the eaves of the roof and also to the soffit, which is a wood covering on the underside of the eaves. When a gutter is clogged and water cannot flow through, the water will sit in the gutter and can soak into the fascia and the edges of the eaves.

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The gutters may not be completely watertight, and the rainwater may drip down and also soak the edges of the soffit. Debris in the gutter can serve as a wick and carry the water moisture to additional wood surfaces as well. Should rainwater continue to soak the wood over a period of time, wood rot will occur and the fascia, soffit and eaves may require repair or replacement.

Wet, rotten wood also attracts insects such as termites and carpenter ants. These colonies of insects can cause damage far beyond the edges of the roof. The wood may rot away to the point that the gutters will not stay attached, and the damage may be complicated enough that the homeowner will not be able to make a simple wood repair. In this case, the homeowner would need to call in roofing, carpentry and pest removal professionals to repair the damage. If the debris in gutters turns to a sticky compost, plants can grow in the gutters as well. If the wood roofing material becomes rotten and fragile, small animals or birds may enjoy easy access to the attic.

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