Every fall in the northeast, a breathtaking landscape is heightened by fiery red, yellow, and orange leaves, accented with deep purples and rich greens. But, as the leaves fall and wind up in a downspout or gutter, the chances of mold growth on damp and rotting leaves, and future ice dams that could cause flooding become great.
Here are some tips from RTK Environmental about what you can do to prevent both:
1. Dispose of leaves in an area away from the house if you prefer not to gather them in refuse bags. As organic debris rots, mold growth can follow.
2. Keep gutters free of leaves. If you don’t, they may become heavy and pull away from your house causing leaks. Leaks often lead to mold growth.
3. To keep water from pooling at the house’s foundation, keep downspouts clear and positioned away from the house. Pools of water can seep into the foundation, causing an environment in which mold thrives.
4. If you see evidence of mold or mildew:
a) power wash the gutters;
b) scrub the area with a mixture of 4 parts water, 1 part bleach, making sure the mixture is sufficiently diluted so as not to harm children, pets, or nearby vegetation;
c) use a long brush to get inside downspouts.
d) rinse gutters thoroughly with a hose.
5. If you think your gutters may have caused a leak or mold issue, have your home tested by a professional to avoid future problems and potential health risks.