Why Does Your Home Need Gutters?

Having great gutters on your can be one of the best investments a homeowner can make, that is if your property needs them. Here are some reasons why they’re so important for your home and some tips on how to keep and  them at their best long term.

Roofs are the unsung hero of every home so that means that your gutters are the sidekick that you can’t do without. Gutters safely redirect rainwater and melting snow away from both your roof as well as the exterior of your home. Having poorly maintained gutters on your home can make your roof vulnerable to the risks of rainwater. These risks include pooling, leaks, damage to roofing materials, and attics and upper floors with mold and mildew. All of these things can be hazardous to our health.

We tend to forget that the exterior walls of our home can also be devastated by moisture. Things like widespread discoloration and erosion of cladding materials can easily reduce your home’s aesthetic, and market value. It should also be noted that all of the moisture that is hitting the ground will seep through and directly attack the foundation of your home.

The foundation can slowly become weak, place the home in both financial and physical risk. Thankfully these exterior and foundation issues can easily be overcome by having strong, clean gutters that deposit water where it’s safe to hit the ground.

Keep in mind that not all homes need to have gutters. For example if you live in a region with a very dry climate then gutters are pretty useless addition. If you don’t live in a dry climate and need to have gutters on your home, then here are some practices for proper maintenance.

Basics to Gutter Maintenance:

Having good gutter maintenance for your home involves some elbow grease. This usually requires getting up on the ladder and using several tools to clean out the debris. You will need to wear thick gloves and some protective eyewear while cleaning out the gutters. Also a general rule of thumb is to check on your gutters every few months or directly after heavy weather as it might have deposited dirt and leaves causing a blockage.

It is important to remember that your downspout can become as clogged as well as the gutter. Luckily this is job is less, and it can be done occasionally from ground level. This task is generally achieved by placing your garden hose on its highest setting into the downspout and flushing the contents upwards. This will dislodge any blockage and allow it to flow out. Unfortunately, in some cases you might have to climb a ladder in order to address spout blockage from the top down.

Homeowners ten to favor the use of gutter guards. These guards come in several forms such as mesh, foam inserts and brushes. The foam and brush inserts slot neatly into the gutter and will absorb the water. On the other hand the mesh gutter guards sit on top of your gutter and will only let water through keeping any leaves or other debris blocked on top and outside of the gutter.

While having guards on your gutters can be a solution to reducing how long it takes to cleaning your gutter, it is only a small part of the gutter maintenance process.

Why Just Having Clean Gutter isn’t Enough:

Even if you clean out your gutters regularly they are still subject to wear and tear from the elements. Depending on what the gutter is made of it can rust due all that water. Even if you decide to get plastic gutters that won’t rust they can gradually be tugged away from the roof due to things like wind, slow and steady water, and the weight of snow and ice. 

As mentioned earlier, mesh gutter guards will hold any wet leave above the gutter until they dry up and blow off. While this is all good and well, it will also contribute to the overall weight that gutters might carry. The same thing can be said for foam inserts if they become overwhelmed by hard rains. Thankfully, your gutters will begin to sag and weak at the connections making it much easier for you as a homeowner to spot from ground level. This is much easier to spot than roof problems that higher up and might require a ladder to spot.

When it comes to fixing gutter sag, it can be as simple as replacing the hangers that secure the gutters to your home. This can be a relatively inexpensive fix, and most of your local hardware stores will carry the necessary parts to fi quickly. However, you might hit a snag if a previous roofing job failed to space your gutter hangers correctly. Having to reposition the gutter hangers will require a little more expertise.

Having strong gutters is especially important if your home experiences very cold weather. And we all know that we get plenty of cold weather in New England. Snow and ice can weigh a great deal inside your gutters. You also want to think about the landscaping around your property. Do you have a tree that could be depositing a steady flow of leaves onto your roof and giving your gutter a hard time? if so then it might be necessary to trim it back to prevent roof problems in the future.

Now, you should always talk to a professional before any gutter maintenance If you have to go ahead and maintain your gutters on your own, then you should never do it alone, in bad weather, or without protective hand and eye gear. You want to have a second person hold your ladder, this can make all the difference.

Contact BP Builders for more advice if you’re ready to review your gutter condition. Even though it is not a complex job, it can still be a dangerous one  especially if you aren’t equipped with the proper equipment, experience and foresight.

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