Most homeowners know the obvious reasons to clean their gutters and downspouts: to ensure the drainage of excess water that can cause damage when it rains, and to prevent ice dams during cold snaps.
Properly functioning gutters and downspouts help protect a home from multiple types of expensive problems—old, poor air quality, wood rot and interior water damage are just a few. But did you know that clogged gutters and downspouts are a fire hazard? The debris that collects and hardens in gutters during dry spells is highly flammable. And if gutters have not been cleaned regularly, adjacent roof deck boards can begin to decay—making them more flammable as well. A gutter fire could easily invade a home’s attic space and spread quickly from there. And if vinyl gutters go up in flames, they will melt, fall from the roof and ignite anything flammable below.
So clean those gutters and downspouts at least twice a year to protect your family and your home. Also, consider installing metal flashing behind the gutters to help slow the spread of a potential fire. Finally, remember that a licensed, bonded professional performs the safest gutter maintenance, especially for multi-story homes.