This Month on Bowes Knows: Mike says to “get your mind outta the gutter”.

Hey folks. Happy Thanksgiving, it’s hard to believe Christmas is going to be right around the corner. This month I wanted to talk to you about something that is often overlooked but something we should make sure we’re addressing every year, cleaning our gutters. It’s one of those tasks around the house that we know we need to do but often put off. It can be dangerous, it’s definitely messy and most of the time the weather isn’t the greatest. So let me show you how Branch Property Services can get your mind off of the gutters!


Why? Because the holidays are stressful enough and having unfinished jobs significantly adds to that stress. There’s even a specific psychological name for it. It’s called the Zeigarnik Effect. Summed up, studies have repeatedly shown that unfinished tasks are recalled much more frequently than finished tasks. So consistently recalling those undone tasks creates thoughts that cause anxiety and stress us out. We all know the feeling, don’t we? Kids are gone with the spouse for a few hours, you’ve been working your tail off and deserve to take some “me” time. After about seven minutes into your “me” time, your mind starts to drift. The Zeigarnik Effect scientifically proves that it doesn’t drift to the things you actually accomplished so you can feel good about yourself. Oh noooooo. That would be too good. Nope. Instead, your mind whisks you away to all the things you should be doing or that need to get done. The laundry that needs to be folded, air filters that need to be changed, porch that needs to be power-washed, and this time of year…the gutters that need to be cleaned.

Cleaning out the gutters isn’t just something cosmetic that needs to get done. More importantly, it’s maintenance that can protect your home from serious, costly damage down the road.

Is gutter cleaning really that big a deal? Yes, it can be, especially in our area.

Why do I need gutters in the first place?

Some people may not have gutters on their house but most people do. So, unless you live on the tippy top of a mountain and water from your roof drains away on all sides then there’s good reason to have gutters. The main purpose of gutters is to take all the water that drains off the surface of your roof away from your home. Duh…right. But they have to be cleaned gutters in order to do their job. You know why we need gutters, right? Gutters are there to keep your roof clean and dry. They do this by catching all the rainwater that runs off in sheets when it’s storming outside or just after heavy rainfall! Don’t let water run down into cracks between shingles because then you’ll have mold spores growing on top of each other waiting for an easy target: YOU!!!

So, what happens if we don’t have clean gutters?

Of course, there are the obvious things. It can wreak havoc on our landscaping and plants. Think of all the time and energy you put into your lawn, your flower beds, and shrubs. Having water not drain properly away from them is kinda like, no it actually is, just flushing money down the drain.  Homeowners often scratch their heads as to why their plants barely survive the winter and they need to replant. Others wonder why water pools in certain parts of the yard.

And there’s also that four-letter word: M-O-L-D

Moldy Siding

When your gutters are full of leaves there will obviously be a lot of water retention. Mold and mildew love damp spaces and will grow like crazy.  Mold is super active and as your gutters weep and drain slowly down the side your home, it will spread and can cause damage to your roof and siding. We all know, that isn’t cheap.


Raise the Roof? Instead, you may have to replace the roof.

Clogged gutters are the most common cause of roof leaks and water damage. When rainwater can’t flow freely from your shingles, it pools on top which causes rot in wood and stains marks on ceilings – even if you don’t see any visible signs! Root-cause analysis tells us that this is because our clogged gutter systems aren’t draining away excess moisture efficiently enough to avoid such problems. Home warranties can be voided because neglectful homeowners ignored the issue for years.

Not a Firm Foundation to Stand On

What do you think about when someone says “foundation”? Is it something that can be covered up or hidden away in some dusty corner, never to see the light of day again? A lot of people might not realize how powerful water is. The combination between poor draining soil and clogged gutters often leads to foundation issues like leaky roofs throughout Virginia. It may seem minor for one small puddle here and there but too many leaks will exploit those cracks over time which could lead us into real problems with our homes’ integrity – something we don’t want!

Ok, Ok I’ll Get Off the Couch (or Worse Yet My Hunting Stand)

Man Peacefully Napping on Couch

Picture of tired man sleeping on a sofa. Eyes closed.

If you’ve been putting off getting your gutters cleaned, it may be time to rethink the situation. Gutters are one of those things that can often go overlooked when it comes to home maintenance—but they need to be tended to! Cleaning out your gutters regularly is an important way to avoid costly repairs down the road. And while this job isn’t particularly dangerous or difficult for a professional gutter cleaner, people who do their own cleaning run into some risks if they don’t know what they’re doing. That’s why we recommend hiring professionals like us at Branch Property Services no matter how small the problem might seem right now. We’ll take care of everything from start to finish.

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you that having your gutters cleaned can save you a lot of headaches in the long run. And I know you have a lot of other stuff you likely want to do. Unless your idea of fun is perching 25’ off the ground on a dangerous ladder, most likely in the cold, with a large garbage bag and stuffing it with wet leaves, then give me a call. I have a team of insured professionals that will come by and get the job done right, a lot faster and safer than you can. So, get your mind out of the gutter and give us a call today.

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