Why are there Trees Growing in My Gutters? What Happens When You Ignore Your Gutters
If you’ve noticed trees or other plants growing in your gutters, why not take a moment to congratulate yourself? Without even trying – you’ve made your own compost! Albeit the compost is not in the right spot, but it’ll work perfectly once you throw it on the garden.
In all seriousness, you don’t ever want compost in your gutters. This is because it clogs your gutters, preventing water runoff and causing rot. If you have sprouted a roof nursery, you therefore need to get your gutters cleaned ASAP.
If you’re at all curious about how your gutters came to support plant life and, what else might be going on up there, read on.
If it’s been a while between gutter cleaning episodes, here’s what can happen in your gutters
Your gutters are constantly absorbing a smorgasbord of organic matter from the roof including:
- dirt (in the form of dust)
- twigs and leaves
- small branches
- bird and other animal droppings
- birds nests and;
- fruits or berries from overhanging trees
When all this organic matter builds up it blocks the downpipes. Water then becomes trapped until it evaporates. If you like gardening, you’d be aware that compost piles require a combination of organic matter, heat, moisture and aeration to break down material. Gutters actually perfectly mimic the condition of a quality compost pile, so it’s not surprising that when gutter cleaning doesn’t take place, you end up with a garden up-top. After all, once compost is broken down, you’ve got highly nutritious soil.
Along with plants, clogged gutters can support a variety of invertebrate life like mosquitos, (which lay their eggs in standing water) ants, bees, wasps and termites. This last one is obviously a real problem. Termites love the moisture-softened wood you find around clogged gutters.
People have even found earthworms in their gutters! While there’s widespread speculation around how earthworms make it into gutters, we think the most plausible explanation is that their eggs (known as cocoons) get caught on the feet or bodies of birds, then get dropped on the roof. Or it possibly happens when birds accidentally drop their dinner worm.
What Should I Do About My Gutter Ecosystem?
We suspect you probably already know the answer to this one. You need to organise gutter cleaning pronto. You also might wish to investigate whether your gutters are sloped sufficiently. If your gutters lack sufficient slope, it’s harder for water and debris to drain out.
You can easily check this visually.
Because cleaning gutters yourself can be dangerous, we always recommend you call in the professionals. Contact us today to find out our affordable rates.
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