Why Gutters Are Important
One inch of rainfall results in approximately 600 gallons of water for an average home. That’s a lot of water running off your roof—and it can cause serious problems if it’s not directed somewhere constructively. Here are a few reasons why gutters are important for every homeowner.
Without gutters, rain running off your roof can enter your attic or the exterior walls of your home. Water that runs off your roof can also stain or damage your siding or façade. This can especially be a problem if your siding is not made of a waterproof material.
Gutters aren’t just important for protecting your roof, they can also protect your home in other ways. Rain that runs off your roof can cause problems with your landscaping, from oversaturating your plants to washing the topsoil (and your plants) away. Water that runs directly onto a porch or deck can cause it to warp or rot much sooner. Water that pools near your foundation can seep into your basement or cause the foundation of your home to settle and crack, especially if temperatures are freezing. The freezing and thawing (or expanding and contracting) of the water can exacerbate cracks in the foundation.
If you already have gutters installed, you should make sure your gutters are kept free from clogs and aren’t leaking or broken for all the above reasons. Gutters that are clogged can be a fire hazard in the dry season and prevent water from flowing during rainy seasons. Gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year. Cleaning is a great time to make sure your gutters aren’t pulling away from your home and to check for rusted spots, dents and holes and disconnected joints. Although cleaning your gutters is a task most homeowners believe they can manage, the safest route is to call the professionals in. The most recent reporting from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that falls from ladders send more than 240,000 Americans to the emergency room a year.
To reduce the need for gutter cleaning and opportunities for clogs to develop, consider having guards or screens installed on your gutters. These prevent leaves and other debris from piling up in your gutters and causing clogs, reducing your cleaning frequency from twice a year to once every one to three years. Some smaller debris can sometimes still collect in your gutters, even with guards, so it’s a good idea to give your gutters a quick look every year to monitor how much debris, if any, has accumulated.
It’s also important that your gutters have been properly installed. Improperly installed gutters can cause water from rain or snow to enter underneath the shingles on the roof where it meets the gutters. The gutters and downspouts should be properly and securely attached to the house, and downspouts should lead water at least three feet away from your foundation.
For a free gutter consultation or inspection, contact the experts at John Beal Roofing.