4 Important Questions We Answer About Allergy Season and Gutters
Allergy season peaks this month in West Virginia! You may have noticed a yellow film on your car or other outdoor surfaces. That film is the accumulation collection of pollen that we witness each spring as flowers emerge and trees blossom. Here in West Virginia, our trees begin to bloom in mid-March, and people begin to notice... with their allergies!
We know that tree pollen affects our health this time of year, but did you know that it can also disturb the health of your gutters if you are not careful? In this blog, we will answer questions about how pollen can harm your gutters during allergy season, and we will discuss some ways to combat the threat.
How does pollen get into your gutters?
Every spring and early summer, pollen is typically released into the air from tree blossoms. If your yard or neighboring yards have any tall trees, there is a good chance that your roof and gutters are collecting significant amounts of pollen throughout the spring. The wind blows pollen from its source, and it spreads far and wide, landing on whatever surface it encounters.
Pollen is supposed to land on and fertilize nearby plants, but it frequently ends up where it is not supposed to. Your gutters are designed to collect falling rain, but they do a great job at collecting falling pollen, too! Further, your roof contains a large surface area and collects large amounts of pollen. During a rain event, that pollen flows into your gutters and can continue to collect there, creating a strain on your system and increasing the likelihood that the pollen causes your gutters to back up.
Why is pollen bad for gutters?
In general, pollen is just one more thing piling up inside your gutters if you do not remove it. When pollen combines with tree sap, it can create a sticky mess and be difficult to remove. Any sediment in your gutters can weigh them down, leading to sagging gutters, cracks in seams, and gaps between your gutters and eaves. Another concern is that pollen can even cause your gutters to corrode. Most tree pollen is actually acidic. When spring rain combines with pollen inside your gutters, the mixture can eat away at any surface, including the finish on your gutters! Even without rain, humidity and pollen can provide the perfect storm, leaving your gutters vulnerable to corrosion because the moisture in the air activates the acid in the pollen.
Could your gutter system be making your allergies worse?
Over the fall and winter, gutters have a habit of collecting debris. Debris in your gutters can easily lead to clogs, and over time, the clogs collect moisture. As moisture accumulates and water struggles to properly drain, allergens thrive! Rotting fascia, mold, and mildew can take hold. For those with allergies, these problems make the allergy season even worse. An even more extreme problem occurs when leaves and debris are left in your gutters for long enough for the material to break down and create compost. That compost is a perfect host for wind-blown seeds to germinate. Finally, spring is an ideal time for pests to be on the lookout for nest locations. Debris-filled gutters are attractive options for birds, squirrels, or mice to hunker down. Unwanted pests can cause gutter damage if left alone.
What can you do?
A strong defense against allergy season is a good spring cleaning for your gutters. Removing all debris from your gutters is the first step in protecting them from damage in the spring. April showers are here, so make sure your gutters are clear! Rainstorms flow through clean gutters easily, making pollen is less likely to accumulate. An inspection completed by Gutterworks experts can help you identify whether mold or other allergens are lurking in your gutters, and we can help you determine your plan for addressing these issues. You should consider these preventative measures "routine maintenance" in the spring, and these measures will extend the lifetime of your gutter system, so do not put them off!
Experts say that allergy season is longer this year than ever. Because of this, you should prioritize getting a handle on your gutter health throughout this time of year. Our team at Gutterworks can help you get ahead of any problems you might have with your gutters this allergy season with gutter cleanings and inspections. On the other hand, you may already be able to see issues arise. If you spot stress on your gutters (gutters pull away from your home, seams between sections cracking, gutters sagging in general), call us at (304)848-9870! Gutterworks can advise you on the most reasonable measures to take. Reaching out and taking these measures will help you preserve not only the health of your gutters but the health of your entire home.
Call us at (304)848-9870 to learn more about how we can help!