The gutters on your house basically serve one purpose: to keep water away from your foundation. To protect the structural integrity of your home and avoid water damage, it’s important to avoid the five most common gutter problems.
Gutters are basically open troughs that collect the water and funnel it to downspouts that send it safely away from your house. But the openness of your gutters means they are prone to gathering other things as well, including leaves, small sticks and branches, and other debris. If your gutters are clogged, water can’t get through to the downspouts and it will simply spill over the sides. To ensure your gutters don’t get clogged up and impede the flow of water, you either have to cover them with screens, often called “gutter guards,” or clean them regularly by scooping out debris and running water through them to ensure unimpeded flow.
Gutters are usually made out of aluminum, although they can be made out of vinyl or stainless steel. These materials are all prone to deterioration over time, and vinyl and aluminum are prone to damage. This can lead to holes in the gutters that allow water to leak out. To ensure you have no leaks in your gutters, you should periodically run water through them with a hose or check them during a rainstorm. If you find any leaks, it’s imperative you get them fixed by a company like Seneca Creek Roofing.
In addition to checking for clogs and leaks, you also need to inspect your gutters periodically to make sure everything is working as it should. A common maintenance problem is gutters pulling away from the house because a fastener or hanger has failed. Another common problem is a section of downspout pipe coming loose, which can cause the water to drain too closely to the house.
Unless you had your gutters installed while living in the house, you don’t know who put them up or what kind of job they did. A common problem is improper pitch. If the gutters don’t slope downward toward the downspouts enough, it can cause the water to drain too slowly, which can lead your gutters to overflow during a heavy rainstorm. Another common design problem is a downspout that drains to close to the house or one that drains water into an area where it can pool and then drain back toward your house.
Some houses simply don’t have gutters at all or don’t have them in certain sections. This may be because they were never installed or sections that failed were never replaced. Regardless of the reason, you need gutters wherever there is roof to drain. A full gutter system can cost several thousand dollars, but that can be much cheaper than the cost to fix a foundation that fails or a flooded basement.