Rain Gutters and Mold: What’s the Relation?

Let’s start with two facts. We need rain gutters in the roof. And we worry about mold infestation indoors. So far, all is swell. The question is this: how these two things are related? What on earth indoor mold has to do with residential gutters?

Well, mold growth indoors has plenty to do with the condition of the rain gutters. And even if you suspected that much, you may still not understand how gutters affect the indoors, how serious the problem may be, whether or not you can prevent it. So, get comfortable. This will interest you.

gutters_cleaningMold growth due to gutter damage

The problem starts outside. It may be a result of rain gutter damage, damage that may not be noticed and so, no gutter repair is done. In fact, if your gutters consist of many sections – and are not seamless, there might be some sagging parts. And where there are many seams, there may also be crevices, several screws – hence, more possible problem areas than if the gutters were seamless. Now, all these seams and fasteners are exposed to moisture and mold is easy to grow, affecting the fascia as well.

Then, gutters may become damaged – seamless or not, and for a number of reasons. Poor rain gutter installation, impact, old age, bad material, etc. But when the gutters become damaged, there’s some water escaping in a different direction than the route it should follow. Gradually, the fascia, the outer wall, the windows, all structural elements get wet, remain wet and eventually, materials rot.

And that’s only the beginning.

Mold growth due to leakage

With the gutters damaged, water licks parts that are not supposed to get so much moisture. And as water keeps licking the external walls and the framing of doors and windows, it will slowly and steadily move into the house. Suddenly the inner walls feel wet, the levels of moisture in the house rise, and it won’t be long before you start smelling the musty odor of mold.

Mold growth due to lack of gutter cleaning

Moisture builds up inside the house when gutter cleaning is hardly on the year’s-must-do list. Heavy rains expect to find empty gutters to flow and shed, but find a clogged rail instead. The leaves, the debris gathered in the gutters fill all the space, making water overflow and finding its way onto the structure, around windows, or pooling on the roof and often finding tiny seams & improperly sealed sections to come in. And that’s not all. Your headaches continue outdoors even when the rain stops and the environment dries out. Over-accumulated debris in the gutter and moisture create a great environment for mold to grow. And that will result in even greater damage and the early gutter replacement.

Mold infestation indoors due to gutter problems

Whether the gutters are dirty or damaged, mold is bound to grow indoors at one point. It depends on the extent of the gutter problem, the overall humidity level at your location, the exposure of the building, and similar factors. And the mold growth – hence, the effects on your life will depend on how quickly you realize there’s a need for some gutter service or mold removal or both.

Prevent mold indoors by cleaning and fixing gutters outside

Needless to point out the terrible repercussions of mold to your health – or even to the structure of the building. What makes things a bit urgent is that once water finds its way inside your home, it will keep coming. Mold grows when the conditions (nutrients, temperatures, and moisture) are ideal. Inside the house, there’s warmth, moisture goes up due to the water, while wood, drywall, paper, and other materials become the food of the mold spores. Mold grows within the first 48 hours, when the conditions are right. And if you think that some gutter repairs and cleaning will cost you nearly nothing, while mold infestation will cost you your health and the structure’s integrity, it’s a wonder why you don’t already run to check the gutters!