Rain Gutters – Protecting Your House From Top To Bottom
Published: 11/15/2011 by SeamlessGuttersToday.com Article Team
When is the last time you gave some thought to your rain gutters? If they are in good condition you probably never give them a thought at all. They simply sit atop your house and carry away water that rolls off your roof to a downspout that deposits it in a place that prevents seepage of that water into foundations, crawl spaces or basements. No problems -no thought given. But if the gutters are not properly maintained, the problems that result will be very severe as well as very costly to the homeowner. Water damage to walls, fascia, soffit, window casings, basement, landscaping and other areas is a virtual certainty if gutters are not up to par. Gutters need to be free of debris, properly and securely attached, pitched correctly to allow flow to the downspout, and sealed at every seam and end cap. If not, leaking and overflowing of the gutter or overshooting of the rain rolling off the roof will result. At that point, all of sudden gutters became a top priority bringing to mind the adage that “an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure” or “a stitch in time saves nine.”
Keeping the gutters free of debris is step number one. But how easy is it to get up on the roof to clean leaves and debris from the gutter? And how dangerous is it for the do it yourself homeowner? And how many times a year is that job necessary? In the fall, if there are many trees surrounding the house, it may take four, five or six cleanings. Clean the gutters early and they fill up again, clean them late and damage could be done while those wet heavy leaves sit in the gutter for weeks blocking the flow of water and possibly clogging downspouts and even cause the gutters to pull loose. Come winter, and heavy snow can now tear those loose gutters off the house.
So perhaps it would be cost effective to use a gutter guard to keep the debris out and eliminate the need for constant cleaning, which if not done by the homeowner himself can result in some serious expense, as one could imagine if a cleaning was necessary as often as mentioned in the previous paragraph, or even more costly if not cleaned often enough, a real Catch-22. Gutter guards eliminate that dilemma, and in the long run save dollars. But be careful of your choice. Some guards can become the problem rather than eliminating it. While there are many types of guards available, the process is certainly far from rocket science, although some manufactures and sales people will try to make it seem like it. Common sense should prevail, and the considerations are pretty simple really. For instance, use a screening device that simply attaches to the gutters, not onto your roof; don’t allow for wide open gaps in the front of the guard as leaves can easily blow into that opening, and bees and other insects can get n to build nests; make sure that you are not able to have runoff from the roof simply overshoot the guard creating a waterfall effect that will prove to be damaging at the base of the house, and cause basement flooding; and make sure the guards are sturdy enough that they don’t simply collapse into the gutter and serve as a collection point resulting in a dam effect.