Gutters are your home’s best friend during a storm. They protect your home’s roof, walls, and structure by routing the runoff to the drainage spot, far away from any potential danger. But gutters only do their job properly if they are well maintained and regularly cleaned. A well installed and properly cleaned gutter can protect your siding, foundations, and doors from water damage while preventing roof leakage and flooding in basements.
According to professional roofers and gutter experts, you should clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid any leakage or rainwater damage. With that being said, if your house is located in an area prone to frequent storms, you should check your gutters more often. Cleaning the gutters is a fairly easy job if done correctly.
The Importance of Clean Gutters
Gutters will prevent water from heavily damaging your home. This is not limited to the common water stains or rusty spots. In time, water can damage the structure of the roof, foundations, and walls. An efficient gutter system will direct the water to the drainage system and then to the main rainwater collection system, far away from your home. Gutters should always collect the water and direct it away from your home, and not near the foundations, as it can leak inside the basement where it can affect the utility room. They also protect the sidings, fragile architectural ornaments, windows, doors, as well as any outdoor equipment, like AC units, motion detectors, and surveillance cameras.
In addition, flooding is a serious risk in wetter climates, particularly after a heavy storm. A good gutter system is designed to be able to manage large amounts of rainwater and direct it far from your home. This is very important because it avoids pooling near the foundations. When water stagnates in your garden, near the walls or foundations, there is an increased risk of flooding and leakage into the basement. What’s more, constant pooling in certain areas may damage your garden and promote soil erosion, but it can also attract mosquitoes or other insects, creating an unsanitary environment close to your home.
So here are some easy things to do in order to ensure the ability of your gutters:
When cleaning your own gutters, be sure to consider your safety. The ladder should be sturdy and placed as close to the gutter as possible. If the roof has a low pitch, you could try to work directly from the roof, but only if the weather allows it. Never work on the roof if the weather is wet, windy, or icy. Wear protective gloves when collecting the debris from the gutter. A bucket should be near you to dump the debris in. Also, wear goggles to protect your eyes from being harmed.
Raking the leaves is a must, as it prevents your gutters from being clogged up again during a heavy rain. Use a small shovel or a scoop to take out dirt or leaves from tight spaces. Work away from the drain outlet and try to do this job while the debris is slightly damp, preferably after a rainy day. Another easy way to clean the gutters is by removing leaves through a blower or hose. Using a hose is also efficient in checking if anything is stuck in the gutter that may not be easily visible. If the water is not flowing through the gutters, then that is a red flag to check for obstructive objects or material.
Be sure to also check the drainpipes and downspouts for rust, leaks, or any other type of damage. Also, perform a regular checkup on your whole gutter system and look for any structural damage, tears, or rust. If the damage is significant, contact a professional roofing company to inspect the issue.
What if your home doesn’t have gutters?
Although most building codes and regulations in the country specifically require gutters to be installed on all newly constructed homes, there are some homes which don’t have gutters at all. What’s more, some of these homeowners fail to understand how gutters can protect their home. Other homeowners tend to complain about the debris and leaves which are often collected in the gutters and the risks they pose. Also, gutters have to be maintained and cleaned at least twice a year, a job that some homeowners refuse to acknowledge. It’s safe to say that these arguments are unreasonable, especially when you take into consideration the numerous benefits a gutter system has. Obviously, it requires maintenance and regular cleaning, but the long term protection it brings to your home should not be overlooked.
If your home doesn’t have a gutter system installed, contact a professional roofing company, or the Gutter Experts who can help you choose the best solution for your home. They can design and build the gutter system that will protect your home for decades to come. Because gutters have to look good on your home and must be sturdy at the same time, only the best materials should be used. These include high quality vinyl, stainless steel, aluminum or copper. A complete gutter system, with a drainage system included, is a fairly small investment for a lifetime of advantages.