Many homeowners overlook their gutters, assuming that they’re simply there to help divert excess rainwater. However, your home’s gutters may be your home’s most vital safety feature, protecting your roof, walls, and foundation against water damage.
We’re breaking down the importance of having your gutters inspected and maintained each season and some common problems associated with neglected gutters.
1. Find Gutter Leaks to Prevent Further Damage
The potential damage caused by a leaky gutter should never be underestimated. The stream of water making its way through a crack can cause many different forms of damage. These may include any of the following:
- Rotting fascia boards (the board mounted just behind the gutter)
- Attic flooding, which lead to mold and mildew
- Bubbling, flaking, or chipped exterior paint
- Foundation and siding damage
- Damaged soffits and overhangs
Even a relatively minor looking leak can cause major damage over time, so it’s important to fix them when you find them. Leaks commonly occur along the seams where two lengths of gutter are connected. They may also happen anywhere along a gutter if leaves, or other debris, have caused it to back up allowing water to spill over the side.
This particular problem can be effectively minimized by having a professional install splash guards on your gutter or by having new gutters made with larger downspouts to help with overflowing water.
2. Ice Dams Do Major Damage
Ice dams can become a serious roofing issue if they aren’t repaired. Ice dams are caused when the temperature is hovering right around the freezing point and heat escapes up through the attic causing ice to melt. This water then runs down to the relatively colder edge of your roof, where it freezes again. Over time, this leads to the formation of a solid wall of ice called an ice dam.
Ice dams melt and create ponding water in the spring, which often finds its way into your home through weak points, leading to costly forms of water damage. An ice dam also represents a potential threat to your gutters because the weight of the dam can easily cause stress fractures, deformations, and other problems.
3. Seasonal Cleaning & Gutter Covers Can Prevent Gutter Damage
Do you often find things like tennis balls or gravel in your gutters? While this might seem weird and unusual, it’s actually not. Heavy rain can cause particles from your roof to deposit into your gutters and cause clogging issues. With the added leaves and sticks from surrounding trees on your property, gutters can get clogged with lots of gunk.
In order to avoid clogging your gutters, and causing an overflow of water, simply add gutter covers! These can be custom fabricated to perfectly fit your home’s gutters and keep debris and foreign objects from wreaking havoc on your home. Even better, these gutter covers can be built right into your existing gutters so you never have to worry about them falling off!
4. Stay On Top of Your Home’s Gutter Maintenance
The best way to prevent the types of gutter issues discussed above is to have your gutters professionally cleaned and inspected on a regular basis. This kind of attention will ensure that your gutters are able to do their job, no matter the season or situation.