Your debris-filled gutters aren’t just an eyesore; they’re actually a danger to your family and your entire neighborhood. Every homeowner knows that their gutters serve as ideal pathways for excess water during storms, but few are aware that these same channels are also prime locations for combustion. In reality, however, experts have observed that open gutters are huge fire hazards. This is especially true during wildfire-level conditions, such as those that are being experienced in California, Washington state, and Colorado.
Understanding the Danger
While rain-filled gutters aren’t at much risk of burning your home to the ground, dry gutters with debris build up definitely pose a threat. As anyone who’s ever started a campfire knows, the leaves and pine needles that gather in gutters can go up in flames in mere seconds.
If your gutter’s contents begin to burn, your home may be next. A wildfire mitigation guide published by the University of California notes that fascia and roof sheathing can easily be ignited by burning gutter debris. This is especially true of buildings that have dried out and decayed over the years.
Fighting Wildfires with Proper Gutter Technology
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your gutters are too high to be at risk. Wildfires are often characterized by jumping flames and windblown sparks that can easily make the leap into your conveniently packed piles of tinder.
So how can you ensure that your family, house, and neighborhood are safe? In most cases, installing gutter systems that incorporate covers is the easiest way to increase the safety of your Washington or Colorado home. While it’s definitely important to clear brush and combustible vegetation from the area immediately surrounding your building, having a covered gutter system goes a long way in helping preventing roof fires. Guards that prevent the accumulation of such waste also play huge roles in preventing the spread of wildfires across landscapes and through properties.