Gutters may be one of the last thoughts in a homeowner’s mind when it comes to house maintenance, but they are actually so important that they are starting to be included in building codes. A complete gutter system with gutter guards is recognized to keep homes protected and safe.
A complete gutter system with gutter guards is recognized to keep homes protected and safe.
Gutter systems are designed to collect water that falls on the roof of our homes when it’s raining and storming.
A properly-designed and well-maintained system then directs the water away from the house via downspouts. Finally, the drain system takes the water away into storm drains and into the sewer.
So why are gutter systems so important?
How Gutters Protect You and Your Home
Protect the Home Foundation
In order to understand the importance of gutters, think back to your middle-school earth science class. Even when rainwater isn’t intense or causing visible damage, water is a powerful force that over time can erode even sharp rocks into the smooth stones you find on the beach.
A lot of the time, the foundations of our homes are not even as strong as those stones. Rock is often part of it, but soil plays a large role in keeping buildings on stable ground.
The rains that our home endures over the years can slowly erode the soil in the foundation, making the house less stable. Invisible, gradual damage can cause big problems later.
Protect Home Features
Keeping water away from the house also protects home features. Sending rain to drain system instead of down the side of the house protects windows and home siding from the harsh rain.
Home fixtures like lights, shutters, and paint are also protected via gutters. Water stains are a common problem – and materials like wood are susceptible to water damage as well. Keeping water away from the house, therefore, protects the longevity of exterior doors.
Water collecting at the base of the house also makes it more likely for the basement to flood. This can be a costly consequence of rain, especially if your basement is finished.
Gutter Guards Help Maintain Your System
Gutters are obviously an important home protection and maintenance feature. The problem is that if they aren’t built and maintained properly, they can do more harm than good.
When rain rolls down your roof, it usually brings leaves and twigs, and even bigger debris with it. Especially during heftier winds and storms, this can collect in the gutters. Some people even find dead mice and squirrels!
Side Effects of Not Maintaining Gutters
The leaves and debris can weigh down your gutters, causing cracks.
The debris can clog the gutters, causing rain to fall over the side of the gutter instead of making its way to the downspout. This defeats the purpose of the gutter because then the rain won’t be redirected from the foundations. It can also cause cracks in the gutter, making for costly repairs.
If the debris clogs the gutters, all the water backed up in the gutter can actually cause damage to the roof of the house. It also makes it more likely for the roof to leak, allowing water into the house and causing damage to the interior of your home.
A clogged gutter, left too long, is sitting water just waiting for mosquitoes and other pests to breed and develop colonies. This can be both annoying and bad for the health of you and your family.
Maintaining gutters properly can be time-consuming, but a well-designed gutter system with gutter guards can keep maintenance as pain-free as possible.
How Gutter Guards Help
Gutter guards are mesh or metal grates that overlap the top of the gutter. Effective guards will keep the debris above the actual gutter guiding water away from the house.
This means the guard will catch debris and the water will flow on, unobstructed. The water will no longer overflow or get clogged up and cause water damage to the roof.
Your system will still require regular clearing of the debris, but an effective system will make the maintenance less painful and also keep the gutter from defeating its own purpose.
Gutter guards are especially recommended for homeowners with extensive foliage around and near their home. It’s because even if they clear out the gutter every time it rains, there are so many twigs and plant pieces the gutter is still susceptible to flooding.
Finding Effective Gutter Systems
Gutter systems usually look like some kind of piping around the roof of your house that catches water and guides it to a long spout that deposits the water in the direction of the drain system, away from your house.
Gutters can be made out of aluminum, zinc, steel, or a variety of other materials. They also come in traditional square or round pipe designs, or in a deeper design with higher water capacities.
The most important things, however, is that the system has an effective downspout and a well-designed gutter guard.
The downspout must be long enough to carry the water far away from the house. A common error is keeping the downspout too short, allowing the water to puddle near the home’s foundation.
It’s also easy to install a bad gutter guard. Some gutter guards are really ineffective because they don’t allow enough water through. This will just make the waterfall down the side of the house, rendering the whole system ineffective.
If you decide to use a gutter guard, you must do your research and make sure that you are choosing one with high customer satisfaction. The Micro Mesh guards that we use are rated highest by leading consumer reporting websites.
Update Your Gutter System Today
Update your gutter system before the rainy season comes around again. A well-designed system keeps your home foundation strong and your house well-protected.
Mosquitos, broken gutters, and damage to roofs and basements can all be prevented with a system that is chosen carefully and well-maintained.
Contact Labor Panes by checking out the contact information in your area. Let’s work together to properly protect your home from stormwater.