A gutter system can help homeowners ward off all kinds of common maintenance issues—but only when that gutter system is installed properly, and is kept clean and unclogged.

When the gutter system is not clean and unclogged, or it’s installed haphazardly—well, that’s when it can cause problems. In some cases, a bad gutter system is more trouble than it is really worth.

A good case in point is the problem of mold and mildew. Homeowners always need to be vigilant in spotting and eradicating any signs of mold or mildew in their home. A shoddy gutter system makes that a fairly difficult task, however.

There is, for one thing, the matter of water that spills behind your gutters. This is caused both when the gutters are not installed properly—when there is too big of a gap between the gutters and the roof—but also when they get too clogged. A clog of leaves and debris can cause water to spill over the back of the gutter and soak into the eaves or wooden framework of your house. And saturated wood, of course, is often what leads to mold problems.

This is not the only way in which an unclean gutter can lead to issues with mold. Rain water won’t just spill over the back of the gutter, but it will also come cascading down to the ground below. This can cause soil, grass, and moisture to splash onto the side of your house, which is another common cause of mold. At the very minimum, it will lead to stains that you’ll need to scrub away on a regular basis.

All of this is simply to say that it’s important to keep your gutters clean, either by cleaning them yourself or by getting a good water regulation system. Clean gutters are a powerful tool in every homeowner’s battle against mildew and mold!