While gutters aren’t necessarily a part of the roofing system, they are a very important roofing accessory. The purpose of gutters is to get water off of your roof and divert it away from the house to protect your home’s foundation, siding and landscaping. It’s important to keep gutters clean and free from debris to ensure optimal performance and protect your home’s structural well-being.
Gutters come in a variety of shapes, materials and colors and now have features that can prevent debris buildup. Depending on the material selected and how well your gutters are installed and maintained, they can last a few years or a lifetime.
Choosing the right gutter
When choosing gutters for your home, it’s important to know your options and to take into account the climate in which you live to select the best option for your home.
Once your gutter system is installed, it’s vital to clean and maintain your gutters to protect your investment and your home.
Whether you’re experiencing a downpour or a light sprinkle, rainwater accumulates and creates a powerful surge of water that needs to be directed somewhere, which is what your gutters are for. However, if your gutters are clogged, this water will flow over the rim of the gutter and hit the ground next to the foundation of your home. This pounding water will erode the soil along the foundation line and seep into the foundation, which can result in basement leaks and weaken the stability of your home.
Properly cared for gutters not only protect your home, but also help to preserve your yard and neighborhood. If your gutters aren’t functioning properly and the downspouts aren’t controlling the runoff, rainwater can kill your lawn and other vegetation on your property, pool in low-lying areas, cut pathways through your yard and create ditches.
It’s crucial to clean your gutter system at least twice, if not four times a year depending on where you live. Having clean gutters heading into winter is especially important. If there are leaves, twigs, animal nests and other debris trapped in the gutters during the winter months, snowmelt can pool and then refreeze in the gutters. When this happens it can weigh down the gutters so much that they separate from the house. Failing to clean out your gutter system will also increase the risk of ice dam formation at the edge of the roof.
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