Maintaining your gutters is key to keeping your home in good working order. An integral part of your home’s functioning, the primary purpose of your gutter system is to protect your roof, siding, walls, and foundation from water damage. Many municipalities across the United States now require gutters on all new residential construction because of their many benefits. By collecting rain water and directing it away from your home, gutters also help prevent the following problems:
- Unstable soil around the house.
- Soil erosion and damage to landscaping.
- Flooding under houses and in basements.
- Settling and subsequent cracking of nearby concrete surfaces like driveways and patios.
- Water damage to exterior doors, including garage doors.
Not having gutters, failing to repair gutters that aren’t working well, and neglecting gutter cleaning can cause damage to your home that is significantly more expensive than installing and maintaining a properly working system. Unfortunately, many houses have gutter systems that are incomplete or incorrectly installed. Or, the gutters are deteriorating and in need of repair or replacement. Properly maintained aluminum or galvanized steel gutters have a life span of 20 years or more, according to the National Association of Homebuilders. Copper gutters, though more expensive up front, can last 50 years before replacement is needed.
Signs that you may need to repair or replace your gutters:
- Gaps and leaks at gutter joints.
- Numerous holes or cracks in the gutters themselves.
- Mold or water stains on your home’s siding caused by rain water overflow.
- Rust in steel gutters.
- Gutters that sag or turn down toward the front rather than hanging level.
- Water coming out from behind a gutter.
- Water pooling next to your home after a storm.
Cleaning out the gutters and downspouts is one of the least glamorous—but most important—aspects of home maintenance. Gutters clogged with leaves and other debris can cause your roof to leak or lead to water damage to both the interior and exterior walls of your home. Clogged gutters often attract insects and rodents as well. In general, if your home has trees within 10 feet of the roof line, you need to clean out the gutters a minimum of twice a year. Ask us about installing gutter guards to cut down significantly on gutter cleaning and maintenance.
The ideal time to replace failing gutters is at the same time that you replace your roof. It’s typically easier and less expensive to install new gutters after the old roof is removed and before installing the new one. Gutters come in several different types of materials and numerous colors, though white is the most common. You can rely on the team at James Taylor Construction (JTC) to accurately access your current gutter system and offer recommendations about the best products and installation methods for your needs and budget.