Seeing a home with gutters is so commonplace, that you might not even notice they are there, however, they play a much more important role than you may realize. If a home owner allows their gutters to fall into disrepair or fails to have any installed in the first place, it will quickly be apparent that the home is lacking a gutter system. This is because gutters play an integral part in the health of your home and surrounding landscaping. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of functional gutters for your home!
What Is a Gutter System Used For?
Gutters are used to collect rainwater and other precipitation from your roof and divert this water safely away from your home and outbuildings. Gutters help protect your home from excess water accumulation, as well as rushing water impacting the foundation and surrounding landscaping. Without gutters precipitation will flow freely wherever it pleases leading to serious issues of damage.
What Will Happen If I Forego Gutters on my Home?
If you do not install gutters on your home, you may find yourself dealing with some very expensive problems down the road. The most common issue created by a lack of gutters is a leaking roof. Without gutters, water has nowhere to drain, often leading to standing water on your roof. In time, this naturally leads to issues of rot/decay and poor functioning on the part of your roof. Leaking roofs can lead to mold growth which may cause respiratory illnesses such as asthma and allergies to the home’s occupants or worse yet structural damage to the underlying components of your home.
In addition, if you live in an area where heavy rains occur regularly, foregoing gutters means that all of those extra gallons of water will just run off your property instead of being diverted through a properly functioning gutter system. You’ll end up paying higher insurance rates since your house will likely flood during these times. Not to mention, the consistent impact of water rushing towards your foundation can eventually lead to a damaged or cracked foundation, which is both a serious issue and an expensive fix.
Finally, consider that without gutters water will merely rush off the sides of your home at great speed and impact whatever is directly below. This includes your flowers, bushes, and landscaping material. Landscaping can cost thousands of dollars and hours of hard work. Failing to install gutters is a sure-fire way to end up with flattened plants/shrubbery, and deep gullies in your landscaping rocks/wood chips. Not only will it cost you money, but also your beautiful display will be destroyed.
With such a simple fix, why not install quality gutters today?
How Do Gutters Work?
A gutter system consists of two main parts: the gutter itself and the downspout. The gutter collects water flowing over the top of your roof and diverts it away from your home. Downspouts carry the collected water away from your home and direct it to a point of discharge.
The gutter itself is usually made of some type of metal and sits atop the fascia board along the edge of your roof. There are many different styles available including single-piece, double-curved, and multi-layered. Copper and aluminum gutter options are both popular choices on the market today, depending upon your preferences for durability and style.
Downspouts are typically attached directly to the side of the gutter using screws or nails. A downspout should extend approximately 12 inches beyond the bottom of the gutter so that any rainwater falling into the gutter does not simply flow back out again. If there is too little space between the gutter and the wall, the water will have nowhere to go when it falls. When installing downpours, always ensure that they don’t create a dangerous situation for children or pets by directing water toward their heads.
What Should I Look for When Installing Guttering?
When consider gutter options, keep in mind that you want something sturdy enough to handle the weight of large amounts of rainfall. Also look for an option that’s easy to clean because you’ll need to remove leaves and debris periodically to keep gutters functioning at their best. Finally, check to see whether the manufacturer offers warranties against leaks and other defects. These warranties help protect homeowners who purchase new products from costly repairs later on.
Why Is It Important to Maintain My Gutters Following Installation?
Maintaining gutters is an important part of ensuring they continue to function correctly. Failing to maintain your gutters may render them ineffective and result in significant damage to your home. In order to keep your gutters functioning at their best, you should invest in regular inspections, cleaning, and maintenance.
Cleaning you gutters will require that all buildup of dirt, leaves, debris, are routinely removed. A good rule of thumb is to do so at least twice a year, preferably in the spring and fall. Failing to regularly clean your gutters may lead to an accumulation of debris which may result in clogs within the gutter system. This can lead to a plethora of unwanted consequences like water backing up behind the gutter, pest infestations, mold and mildew growth, and structural damage.
Always keep in mind that regular gutter inspections are every bit as important as keeping up with cleaning. Gutter inspections check for and identify issues like cracks, holes, missing sections, damaged flashing, loose connections, and more. Gutter inspections ensure that potential issues are identified early so they can be repaired before they lead to significant damage. Be sure to have a gutter inspection completed at least once every year or twice a year if you live in a climate prone to frequent extreme weather conditions.
Lastly, should your inspection detect damage to your gutters, be sure to have them repaired or replaced in a timely manner. Doing so ensures that your gutters continue to function at their best, offering your home and landscaping protection from destruction caused by heavy precipitation.
So, while gutters may seem to blend in with the scenery, as it turns out they play a vital role in your home’s health and longevity. Don’t let your home go unprotected one more day without these unsung heroes of water diversion.