Gutter Maintenance Prevents Health Issues – Chester County, PA
It seems odd to associate good, clean, well-maintained gutters with health issues. The honest truth is that although good gutters and proper drainpipes prevent leaks in roofs and other damage to homes, they also provide protective health basics.
Gutters and drainpipes easily become clogged. This is a known fact. What most homeowners do realize is that clogs can cause drainage issues. However, the truth is that there are also health risks from pests, molds, and fungi that thrive on rotting organic materials.
Wasps are notorious for building nests in gutters and drainpipes. Wasps love the warmth and organic rotting materials, which leaves and other debris supply. They feed on these organic materials if bits of meat or fruits exist. Fruit tree debris will attract wasps.
However, wasps most of all crave a source of water (just water your plants and see them swarm), and a clogged gutter and drainpipe are, therefore, perfect spots in which to build a nest. Fruit trees abound in Chester County and surrounding areas and are a perfect breeding ground for wasps in gutter and drainpipe clogs.
A fear of wasps and wasp nets is very prevalent in humans, so avoiding a build-out of a nest in a gutter or drainpipe means keeping these parts of a roofing system unclogged. The sting of a wasp is astoundingly painful, and a swarm of wasps can have dire consequences.
Let’s not forget mosquitoes either, as although not as feared as wasps; they are drawn to gutters with standing water created by dams of dirt, debris, and leaves. Mosquitoes cause many health issues and carry diseases.
Although birds and their nests are lovely when in a gutter or drainpipe, there are health issues as birds also carry germs and can spread disease. The fecal matter of birds accumulates around a nest.
However, other health problems besides pests do exist, and these are often overlooked and are caused by the molds and fungus that builds up from the debris, especially from leaves.
Clogged Gutters—Fungus and Mold Issues
These issues are harder to detect and harder to remove in clogged gutters. While obvious clogs like insect and bird nests can be removed once (but very carefully), mold and fungus do tend to return over and over if all debris and spores are not removed. Many types exist, but the most common fungus is mold and mildew.
These are not innocuous in any way, and a good gutter service will not only remove the debris but remove the pests that remain in the gutters. Mold, mildew, and fungus removal in gutters requires certain steps:
Treating areas with anti-fungal and mite extermination
After debris removal, all gutters and downspouts should be cleaned with a solution that eliminates pests and prevents the reformation of fungus. This also applies to cleaning any siding that may have experienced dripping of the infected water.
There are minuscule mites in all types of debris in gutters and downspouts, and these will filter down into the garden, the siding, and even under roofs causing allergies, dead garden plants, and possible roof problems. Microscopic gnats also can remain. These are many times called “fungus gnats.”
- Hosing down the entire gutter and downspout
High-pressure hosing down of the gutters and downspouts will remove a great deal of the mites and/or gnat infestations that can be so microscopic that they are not visible to the naked eye.
Pressure hosing also ensures that water flow is restored completely in a clogged gutter or downspout. Hosing the siding afterward is a good measure to prevent any remaining pest infestations from occurring under the siding of a home.
- Checking the garden and perhaps placing traps
While this is not the job of a gutter and downspout specialist or a roofing and siding expert, many will suggest this to a homeowner. Infestations of mites, gnats, and nematodes, which proliferate, can soon ruin shrubbery, and plants and create bad air quality.
Dozens of pests, especially nematodes, can exist in debris. While not all are harmful many are to the existing foliage and plants most homes have. These pests can also work their way under any roofing and into a home.
Conclusion—Gutter Maintenance Prevents Health Issues
Gutter maintenance has many reasons to be a priority. Since gutters and downspouts are always exposed to the elements and act like “basins” for water removal, unfortunately, the issues surrounding these necessities are complex. Storm Tech Roofers of Chester County, PA, with the free evaluations offered, should be called for at least an assessment of gutter and downspout issues even when the issues might not be apparent.