Your home’s gutters help to trap and control the flow of rainwater from your roof to wherever you want it to go. Routine gutter inspection and maintenance is a simple solution to prevent damage to your home and property from unwanted water flow.
If your home is not equipped with a gutter, then you run the risk of rainwater:
- Washing out your lawn and landscaping
- Weakening your foundation
- Entering your basement
- Inviting termites into moistened wood
- Collecting in places that are slightly lower than others.
While not all homes have gutters, they are a simple addition that can end up saving your home and landscaping.
As with many other aspects of your home, it is important to properly and routinely inspect and maintain your gutters to ensure that they remain in complete working order. Routine gutter inspection and maintenance should be conducted at least twice a year: once in the fall and once in the spring. Not doing so can lead to situations that are even worse than having no gutters at all. Winter and spring are the hardest seasons on your gutters. Without proper maintenance, they can become overwhelmed with ice formation and snow buildup that is made even worse as the heavy spring rains come in. Routine gutter inspection and maintenance can go a long way in preventing this from becoming a problem.
Gutter Inspection Tips
Look For Sagging Gutters
A sagging gutter is typically caused by missing, broken or bent gutter hangers. You should replace these relatively inexpensive pieces of hardware quickly, before your gutters are required to support the extra weight that comes in the winter and spring.
Debris is one of the main causes of gutter malfunction. It is also one of the easiest things to fix, when it comes to maintaining and repairing your gutters. During the inspection process, you should place a strong emphasis on removing any and all sticks, dirt, leaves and other debris from your gutters and downspouts. A clogged gutter will only contribute to water overflows and ice buildup. Both of these can lead to damaged gutters and water being diverted into your home.
Holes and Cracks
Small holes and cracks in your guttering can often be patched with a simple adhesive and a small piece of guttering or similar material. If you have extensive holes and cracks, however, you may need to have that section of guttering replaced.
Gutter aprons help prevent water from dripping between the gutter and the fascia of your roof. If you are having this problem, then your system may not be equipped with a gutter apron, or it may be improperly installed. You can check to see if you have gutter aprons by looking for an L-shaped metal flashing that is nailed underneath the shingles and goes down into the gutter. This flashing helps ensure that the water flows directly into your guttering, rather than traveling into your home.
Look For Water Accumulation
After you have cleaned your gutters, checked for damage and installed any gutter apron that was missing, look for pooling water around your home. If everything in your guttering is clean and should be working properly, this could be a sign of improperly installed guttering or hidden damage. Make sure that all of your guttering is attached appropriately to all gutter hangers, and that no pieces are bent. You should also check to make sure that your gutters are installed at a slight downward angle, pitched toward the downspout. If not, then you may need to have your gutters adjusted.
Although your gutters can be a lifesaver when it comes to preserving your landscaping and preventing water accumulation on your property, they can present a number of problems when not working properly. A routine inspection can detect and eliminate nearly all of these issues before they actually become a problem. This will not only help prevent obnoxious water build-up in your yard, but also potential roof and foundation damage.
The leaves are just turning in New England and should be falling soon. Have you scheduled your fall gutter inspection and maintenance yet?