You already know that home ownership is a big responsibility. You have made a major investment both financially and in your family. This is why you put so much effort into maintaining and updating your home.
- Regular inspections of the roof is always a must to help protect and prevent leaks and other issues.
- You also have the siding replaced when needed to protect the walls and structure of the home and keep it looking great.
- Insulation, pipes, and every other thing you can think of, you do your best to keep in good repair and up-to-date.
However, like many people, you forget about your gutters.
I know it’s hard to hear but those flowers growing out of the gutters are not a cute addition to the home.
Why Gutters Are Essential For My Home?
Those little channels that surround your roof may not seem like a very important thing. However, they are one of the more important parts of the system that protects your home from damage during rainstorms and other various weather events that throw water and ice at your home. Properly maintained gutters protect your roof, siding and walls, and your yard. They’re even beneficial in preventing your basement from leaking.
Head to toe protection for your home. That’s what gutters are for!
When it rains, water slides off the slope of the roof. This water then enters the gutters and is channeled away from the home to drain. If the gutters were not there, the water would just pour down the sides of the house and puddle on the ground below. This water running over the siding can cause it to wear out quicker. It can even pose risks of ice forming in the siding and causing further damage. When the water puddles on the ground, it can create problems for the yard and any flowers or other plants that might be growing there. In addition, when that water soaks into the ground, it needs somewhere to go. Very often, that place is the tiny little cracks in the basement walls or foundation of the home.
Gutters provide a lot of protection for the home. This is why it is important to ensure the gutters are working properly. This is done by making sure the gutters are in good repair and draining properly. If they are not, or there are issues with the gutters, not only can they cause many of the damages discussed, but they can also pose risks to the roof of the home.
Are My Gutters Draining Properly?
This is an important question every homeowner should ask themselves. The water that pours off of the roof during a rainstorm should flow down the gutters and out of the downspout without hesitation. Unfortunately, there are many things that can prevent this from occurring. It is important to inspect the gutters from time to time to ensure they are draining properly.
You can inspect the gutters on your own. This should be done in the fall and again in the spring. The gutters should be checked to ensure there is no dirt, leaves or debris in them. If there is, they should be cleaned out thoroughly. All joints and connections in the gutters should be inspected to ensure they are secure. They should also be inspected to ensure there is no standing water in them. It may also be a good idea to check during the rain to ensure water is not leaking from the sides or joints of the gutters.
Improper installation can be the cause of many issues with gutter drainage. Gutters need to have a proper slope to allow the water to drain properly. Any cracks or damage to the joints of the gutters can allow water to leak in between these seems. This helpful guide can make inspections easier. It may also be a good idea to look into gutter guards for the home.
Do I Need Gutter Guards?
Gutters can collect a lot of debris, especially during a storm. Trees that hang over the roof can be a source of a lot of debris. Wind can carry dirt, leaves, and other items that can land on the roof. When it rains, this debris is washed into the gutters. Much of this debris is swept away by the water. However, not all of it will. This is especially so for leaves that get inside the gutters. These leaves can stick and create a barrier that collects more dirt, leaves, and debris. Before long, a damn of sorts will be formed in the gutters. This can block all water from flowing away from the home. Animal and bird nests can also create risks of blockages in gutters.
When the water is blocked with debris and dirt, the water can pool in the gutters. This water can collect and stand on the roof. Eventually, this water can work its way into the tiny cracks of the roofing material and create damage. If not repaired, it can eventually make its way into the home and cause leaks. This can cause serious damage to the home, especially if the leak s in the walls and difficult to detect.
If the water is blocked, it can also flow over the sides of the gutters. This can cause water to pool in the ground below. This water can work its way through the ground and into the basement or foundation. This can cause cracks, leaks, and damage that can threaten the integrity of the home. Gutter guards can help with much of this problem.
Gutter guards are an option for gutters to help prevent leaves and debris from entering and blocking the gutter system. There are several different types of gutter guards that have varying degrees of assistance for the home. These guards can prevent animals and birds from nesting in the gutters. They can also reduce the amount of debris that enters the gutters. Most gutter guards will stop large leaves from blocking up the gutter system. These guards will also lessen the frequency the gutters need to be cleaned. This alone can make it worth the value.
Gutters can also last longer when utilizing gutter guards. By preventing debris from building up, the gutters are less likely to prematurely rust from the standing water. These guards are also beneficial for those who harvest rainwater by allowing the water to flow easier without so much debris. These guards can even be heated to melt ice that can also block gutters. There are pros and cons to using gutter guards that you should be aware of before you make the decision to purchase them.
What Are Seamless Gutters And Are They Worth It?
Is it time to replace your gutters?
If so, you may be asking yourself whether or not you should get seamless gutters. You may be thinking that your home did fine with the sectional gutters, so why bother?
Well, consider this:
- How well did your sectional gutters last?
- Were they rusting at the seams?
- Did your gutters fall apart?
If you answered yes, then maybe seamless gutters are an option for you.
The standard sectional gutters come in pieces that are put together with joints and fasteners to create the length needed for the home. The areas where the pieces go together are more prone to holding moisture and rusting. These areas can leak and come apart due to damage or high wind. The seams can also be areas that collect debris when the water flows to create an area where a blockage can occur. They can slip and cause problems with the flow as well.
Seamless gutters do not have the same issues as sectional gutters. They are one seamless piece that is cut to fit the measurements of the home. The only seams or connections are at the corners of the home. Instead of hanging off of the house and diminishing its look, seamless gutters blend into the soffit and fascia of the home. This can provide a cleaner look to the home and help increase the curb appeal.
In addition to the beauty of these gutters, they also provide many benefits. Since they are custom fitted to the home, they can provide a more secure system that will withstand strong winds and ice. Seamless gutters are also less likely to leak since there are no seams that can separate or rust. They can also provide a more stable and reliable drainage system.
Do I Have To Replace Or Can I Repair My Gutters?
Replacing or repairing gutters is a big question for any homeowner. For many homeowners, a budget may be the major factor in deciding this. Of course, replacing gutters may be cheaper in the short-term. However, you may find yourself repairing them over and over again. This can ultimately make it far costlier to repair the gutters than it would to just replace the gutters.
The first thing to consider when deciding whether to replace or repair is what exactly is the problem. If the problem with the gutters is localized to one small section, repairs may be the better option, for now. A piece that has come off or has small holes or rust may be easily repaired with little cost. This may allow you to enjoy a few more years without any additional problems. However, it is important to thoroughly inspect the rest of the system. If it seems that there are many of these problems about to pop up, replacement may be the better option.
If you find that there are many problems with the gutters, or entire lengths are damaged, it may be more prudent to replace the entire system. Although this may be more expensive than expected, it could save you a lot of money in the long run. Repairing pieces in a system that is severely damaged or problematic could end up costing a lot more in the next couple of years than simply replacing the entire system. It can also save a lot of time and stress involved in these repairs. If you are unsure if they should be replaced or repaired, calling a professional gutter service can help you make that decision. They can identify problems that may have been missed or find a better solution that fits your budget.
Questions To Ask When Buying Gutters
If you decide that your home needs new gutters, be prepared for that purchase. Do your research to get an affordable price, getting the wrong contractor to do the job can end up costing you a lot more in the long run. Ask a few questions before work begins to ensure they are installed properly.
It’s your home…need I say more?
- Is the contractor properly licensed and insured? Although a handyman may be a lot cheaper than a contractor, they can come with significant risks. Proper licensing and insurance can protect you from various problems, such as injuries or damages.
- Do they have references? Installers who have been in this profession for some time should have at least a few references from previous jobs. This can help you be aware of any previous issues others have had with this contractor.
- Can I get a contract in writing? It is important to get a detailed contract of all work to be done, all costs of that work, how long it will take, and how any additional costs are handled. This can provide proof and assurance that unexpected charges won’t be tacked on without any warning.
- Is there a guarantee? You should find out if there is a guarantee and what exactly it covers. You should have at least some guarantee on materials. It is also important to get a guarantee on the installation, as well. This shows that the contractor stands by their work.
- Will this affect my roof warranty? Many homeowners have gotten gutter replacements that disturbed the roofline during installation. This voided their warranty and made it impossible to get repairs done on their roof.
- Are these gutters right for my climate? When living in an area that has extreme weather, it is important to know that the gutters will withstand that weather. Asking the contractor will help ensure the right materials are used.
You know your home is important for your life. It’s one, if not, the biggest purchase of your life. It’s the place where you and your family feel safe and secure, even when the storms hit.
Remember, you get what you pay for.
Let this guide help you make the right decision and purchase the best gutter system for your home.