If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never thought about your gutter system other than if it looks nice and provides curb appeal to the exterior of your home. If you’ve ever had a leaking or clogged gutter you may have noticed the inconvenience of water pouring over from your roof in a steady stream in a place water isn’t supposed to be. Without fail, it always happens to be in the same place as where your head is when you step outside during a rainstorm.
The Importance of Gutters
Other than the cosmetic aspect of gutters, you should also be aware of the structural value they provide your home. They move rainwater where you want it to go instead of drowning the bushes and flower beds you’ve taken such care to plant around your house. More importantly, gutters are the first step toward directing water away from your foundation. Consider how a gallon of water weighs about eight pounds and hundreds of gallons can fall on your roof during a one-inch rainfall. A further consideration is how improper drainage washes out the soil by your house, leading to ponds forming and soaking into the ground directly onto your foundation. The foundation has its own drainage system underneath, but was designed with the idea the bulk of rainwater is going to be directed away. The problems of excessive groundwater leaking toward the foundation include cracking and sinking, ultimately compromising the structural integrity of your home.
Gutter installation is not a long or complicated process. Seamless gutters come in the form of a roll of metal which is formed through a specialty machine onsite to fit the measurements of your home. It’s applied slightly out of level to direct water downhill while appearing level to the naked eye, and downspouts are installed at the corners. According to the landscape, the downspouts may lead into French drains, underground piping that drops the water off on the opposite side of the yard, or a simple pan that directs the water away from the home.
Gutters do require routine maintenance, typically cleaning of debris to allow for water to flow cleanly as it was designed for. LeafProof gutter covers help keep debris from accumulating in your gutters so they don’t need cleaning so often and are especially useful if you live on a wooded lot or have shade trees next to your house. After some time, gutters begin to sag form the weight of water, debris, and especially winter snow and ice. If properly maintained and addressed immediately it isn’t a large task to reset the gutters, but if allowed to remain out of order for long it becomes a bigger problem. Eventually, any gutter system is going to need to be replaced but you can rest assured that’s a smaller job than having to repair water damage in your roof or walls from improper drainage or worse, having to make foundation repairs.
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