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If you’re lucky enough to live on a lot that is covered with trees, you’re probably like me and in awe of the beauty of nature every Autumn. What an amazing time it is to see the leaves turn colors. But then something not so amazing happens. They die and fall. All over your lawn, on your roof and anywhere else in the not so immediate area. What a disaster! It’s so easy to just turn a blind eye to their unsightliness and mentally prepare for winter weather. But ignoring the leaves isn’t going to make them go away, and not removing them is going to greatly increase your chances of suffering water damage. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the 2 ways fallen leaves can lead to home water damage!
Leaves clog gutters
If we had a dollar for every time we’ve mentioned this on our blog, we’d…have a lot of dollars. Your gutters play an incredibly crucial role in keeping your home dry. If they can’t do their job, the odds of water getting into your home spike dramatically. And there’s pretty much nothing worse for gutters than leaves. If you’ve ever climbed a ladder and seen the inside of your gutters, you’ll notice the hole leading down to the downspout in your gutter is quite small. Maybe 2-3 inches in diameter. It doesn’t take many leaves to completely clog that small hole. And when that happens, the water collected by your gutter will have nowhere to go and eventually overflow. If you’ve ever looked outside your window during a rain storm and have seen a waterfall pouring down, that’s what is happening. Why is that bad? Because the water is going to fall right next to your home’s foundation and pool up there. Why is that bad? Whether you have a pier and beam home, a slab foundation, or a basement, water next to your home is going to find its way through the concrete and into your property.
If you do nothing else this fall, please go out and clear your gutters. Or don’t, and tempt fate and end up with potentially very costly water damage. It’s the simplest and most effective way you can prevent home water damage. And sadly, it’s one of the most overlooked maintenance tasks for homeowners every year. That’s great for our business but really bad for homeowners that end up having to pay costly insurance deductibles for work that should have never been necessary.
Leaves prevent evaporation
When rain or snow falls, a large amount of moisture is introduced to your property. While some of it will run off the lawn and into the street and the on to a storm drain, a lot of it will soak into your yard. That is called groundwater, which in our business is called ‘an enemy’. While every environment has some ground water, certain types of soil and clay are more prone to collecting ground water. One thing that helps reduce the level of ground water in your lawn (and thus reduce the chances that ground water ends up soaking through your concrete foundation and into your home) is its ability to evaporate. And that’s where fallen leaves come into play. If your entire property has a layer of leaves covering it, any water that falls and seeps into your soil can’t evaporate. It gets trapped, allowing it to exert constant pressure on your home’s foundation. Over time, water wins. And that means you lose.
So do yourself a huge favor! Before the snow starts falling (or the rain if you live in the south), take a weekend and spend it getting leaves away from your home and out of your gutters. By just doing this, you’ve put yourself in so much better of a position to weather the winter and come out safe and dry!
Do you have water damage? Please call us!
If this knowledge comes too late, please don’t freak out. We can help, and we can make the process of fixing water damage in your home a lot easier and stress-free than you might think. Any time you call us our first step will be to come out and see what’s going on. As part of that step, we’ll do a full moisture diagnostic and determine how much water damage you have and what steps will need to be taken to fix the problem. While we are there, we will provide you with a no obligation, free estimate using industry-standard pricing. If you are happy with the estimate and trust our competency, we can begin work immediately and then work with your insurance adjuster to make sure your claim is dealt with appropriately (and in a timely manner).