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As winter approaches and leaves fall, City of Fort Wayne Neighborhood Code officers are reminding residents to clear out gutters so water can drain property away from their homes. By clearing gutters of bee hives, leaves, bird nests and more, residents can help prevent structural damage such as foundation failure and basement flooding.

With a stable ladder, gloves, and a plastic scoop, most homeowners can, relatively quickly, tend to their gutters. Why bother? First, neglected gutters can become a resting place for unwanted pests and bees. Further, by keeping well-maintained gutters, homeowners can prevent extensive staining, paint damage, mildew, and mold growth to the exterior of the home.

In addition to mitigating such visible exterior damage to homes, properly maintained gutters also protect against expensive structural damage, such as foundation failure and basement flooding. Gutters control the water flow on (and off) a house and thus are integral to maintaining a strong foundation, roof, and walls. Faulty or clogged gutters allow water to reach the foundation itself rather than directing rain water away from the home. Just by quickly tending to gutters, homeowners can avoid many costly house repairs.

By dedicating a couple hours this fall to gutter cleaning, residents can ensure peace of mind in the following seasons.