Maintain Your Pipes and Your Business

Be-Leaf It Or Not, Gutters Affect Home Fire Risk

by Sheila Vasquez

Cleaning out roof gutters has never been a favorite chore of homeowners, but it is a necessary one. Not only does cleaning out the gutters allow water to flow unimpeded, but it can also help improve the chances of your home avoiding a fire. Clogged gutters can catch fire if sparks are flying, increasing the chances of the house itself catching on fire. Rather than taking the chance of something happening because you don't want to clean out the gutters on your home, hire a gutter-cleaning or repair company to do the job for you.

Leaf Debris

Over time, leaves and twigs fall into and build up in roof gutters. When it rains and this debris gets wet, it doesn't float down to the downspout along with the rainwater -- it just sits there and becomes a soggy lump. It eventually dries out and serves as the base of a growing pile of leaf debris.

Ember Attacks

If there's a fire nearby, and sparks are flying, the leaves that are stuck in the gutter can catch fire, which can then spread to the rest of your home and landscaping. You might think that if the fire is so close as to set the leaves in the gutter on fire that your house would be a goner anyway, but that's not the case. Fires as far as a mile away can produce what are known as ember attacks, sending hot embers far away from the fire. So your home might not be right next to the flames, but it's still in danger, and the dry leaves and twigs in the gutter only enhance that danger.

To prevent that danger, you have to keep gutters clean. If you do not feel like tackling the job, get professionals to do it, especially if your area is prone to high winds that knock leaves off your trees. Have the gutter-cleaning or repair company come out a few times a year to give the gutters a good clearing out.

That might sound excessive, but leaves are not going to wait for one or two specific times of the year to fall into the gutters. Having the gutters cleaned a few times a year ensures that you are clearing out as much debris as possible.

Fast Cleaning

Gutter cleaning, especially if you do it consistently, does not take a long time. By preventing the build-up of old leaves, you prevent the formation of those dried lumps of debris that can take longer to remove. Even if you have gutter screens, those can be bent and still become blocked by the debris.

If you want more information about keeping gutters clear and reducing your fire risk, contact a gutter-cleaning company like Mr. Gutter. This is actually a task that should be done as soon as possible if you haven't cleared the gutters out in a long time.