Why Gutters Are So Vital In Preventing Roof Damage
Many homeowners don't think about or know the importance of having a system of gutters and downspouts on their homes. Installing a system of gutters, maintaining them and replacing them as needed is a major duty of responsible home ownership. Not having gutters can cause a great many problems for homeowners.
The Jobs of Gutters and Downspouts:
1. Removing Water From Your Roof
Gutters are responsible for removing water from your roof. When it rains or snow melts, water can get underneath the shingles on the roof causing damage to its structure. Gutters and downspouts also keep water away from the sides of the home. This will prevent water from getting behind siding or causing a "rusting" effect on brick. Constant water drainage can cause staining to the exterior of your home fascia, soffit, wood framing and outside walls as well as decks, patios, driveways and walkways.
2. Prevent Erosion of The Soil Around Home
Another important job of gutters and downspouts is that they prevent erosion of the soil around the home. Large amounts of water running down a foundation for long periods of time can cause cracks. Gutter systems may prevent cracks in the foundation and water in the basement. These systems facilitate the removal of water on and around your home, preventing damage to your home's roof and foundation.
The Negatives of Not Having Gutters and Downspouts:
Not having a gutter and downspout system on your home can cause infestations. Mosquitoes and other insects breed in standing water.
Also, mold is caused by overflowing gutters which can create an environment for mold to grow in crawlspaces and basements. This constant moisture can cause fungi to damage to your landscaping.
3. Structure Damage
As you can see, having gutters and downspouts installed on your home is important in terms of preventing major damage to your home and its structure. Maintaining your gutter and downspouts is as important because in order for them to work properly, they need to be kept clean and repaired.
What To Do:
Gutter systems need to be cleaned twice a year, spring and late fall. Gutters can be blocked with leaves or other debris, which will cause them to not function as needed. Water needs to flow at least ten feet from the house. Many homeowners may want to clean their gutters themselves, however, there is always risk in getting on ladders. The cost of hiring a gutter expert to clean and maintain your gutters is minimal in relation to the amount of damage your gutter system prevents.
Gutter systems also need to be attached properly to your home. You may need to talk to the gutter professional about changing the spikes holding your system to your house to screws. Screws do a better job of holding gutters in place. Make sure you or the gutter professional check for rusted spots, dents and holes, broken gutter hangers, and disconnected joints and repair these as soon as possible.
If your gutters collect a great amount of debris, you may want to consider having screens installed over the gutter. A guard will not keep all the debris out, and up to 15 to 20 percent still gets in. A visual check should be done at least twice a year.
According to angieslist.com., the cost of gutter cleaning ranges from $75 to $225 for an average home, depending on the length of gutters, height of the home and scope of work. Most companies charge a flat fee per foot of gutter, but the cost can go up depending on the complexity of the work. Make sure that they carry liability insurance and worker's compensation for any employees they use for your job.
Having and maintaining gutters and downspouts is vital in the care of your home. Not only will they keep water from damaging your home, its roof and foundation, but they will prevent expensive damage to your home for years to come. Harper Roofing offers free roof inspections> and help for all your roofing needs. Call us for a free estimate or a list of all of our roofing services. Check out Harper Roofing's 5 star rating on Houzz>!
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Harper Roofing specializes in re-roofing residential homes in Charleston, South Carolina. Follow our blog for info on maintaining your home and protecting your family.