Gutters collect rainwater and allow it to flow away from a house to protect the exterior and landscaping from damage. Gutters can get clogged with leaves, twigs, and pine needles that are washed into them. In dry conditions, this debris can create a fire hazard. This is more of a problem on two- and three-story homes because it is more difficult to clean the gutters on a regular basis.
How a Fire Can Spread from Your Gutters
If combustible debris in the gutters catches fire, it can expose the edge of the roof covering, including the fascia and roof sheathing. If the wood is decayed and there is no metal flashing at the edge of the roof, those conditions can make it easier for a fire to spread into the attic. Metal flashing is recommended at the edge of the roof to provide additional protection.
Which Gutters Are the Safest?
In an area that is prone to wildfires, metal gutters are recommended. If the debris in the gutters catches fire, metal gutters will remain in place and the fire will burn at the edge of the roof. Vinyl or plastic gutters can become detached and fall to the ground. The flammable debris in the gutters will continue to burn when it reaches the ground and can ignite grass, shrubs, mulch, a wood pile, or any other combustible materials on the ground. The flames can get high enough to damage windows and get into the house.
How to Reduce the Risk of a Fire Spreading
If your house has vinyl gutters, it is important to keep flammable materials away from them to prevent a fire from spreading. If your house has metal gutters, make sure they are cleaned regularly and well-maintained.
Another way to reduce the risk of a house fire is to install gutter guards. They are installed over gutters to keep debris such as leaves and twigs out. This can significantly reduce the risk of fire.
Connecticut Gutter & Exteriors can install aluminum, copper, or zinc gutters and gutter guards on your home to allow rainwater to drain properly and to reduce the risk of a fire spreading. If you would like a quote for our services, contact Connecticut Gutter & Exteriors today.