You want your home to look nice, stay in good condition, and protect you and your loved ones season after season from the elements. Your home is constructed with many systems to provide that protection efficiently. For instance, insulation helps keep your home comfortable amid unwelcome outdoor temperatures. The walls, windows, and doors help keep pests, animals, and intruders at bay. Your foundation gives your home solid footing, and your roof on top of it all protects it all.
However, there’s one unsung hero that goes without mention too often when speaking of protecting a home from water problems. It’s the gutters. Read on to learn what, why, and how gutters play an integral role in protecting your home.
GUTTERS PROTECT YOUR ROOF, HOME, AND PROPERTY
So, you may be asking yourself, “Are gutters really that important to protecting my home from rain?” Yes! Gutters are a very important system that protects your home and property from the roof to the foundation.
Excessive water from rainfall and snowmelt can inundate the other systems of your home as well if a gutter system in good working condition isn’t installed. Gutters provide a controlled way for water to fall off the roof and be channeled to a specific location several feet away from the bottom of the downspouts. To see how gutters provide protection for your home and property, start at the top:
- Roof: Underneath the roofing shingles or tiles is a lot of wood. Wood is typically used for the sheathing, truss, and fascia parts of the roofing system. Without gutters, water could wick horizontally at the roof’s edge and soak into these timber and porous roof components. Water penetration expedites decay and will probably damage your attic, insulation, and almost anything else the water comes into contact with.
- Walls: Most of the water wouldn’t make it beneath your roofing system and attic. Instead, without well-functioning gutters, water from rainfall and snowmelt would flow down the brick or siding of your home, which would cause extensive damage including stains.
- Landscaping and Hard Surfaces: If water just poured over the edge without a gutter system to fall into, you would see quite a bit of damage to your lawn, landscaping, and even the hard surfaces around your home, like the driveway, walkways, and patios.
- Basement: Excessive moisture and water in the basement is a common problem for Twin Cities Metro homeowners. If you don’t have effective gutters installed, the water problem in the basement will only get worse. If you don’t have water problems in your basement, your gutters must be pulling their share of preventing basement flooding.
- Foundation: The most critical role that gutter systems play is protecting the foundation. If water spills over the sides of the gutters, if there are no gutters, water simply falls to the ground. This may cause water to seep down to the foundation. Additionally, water may cause soil to erode around the foundation. Good gutters and downspouts should convey water at least four feet away from the home. However, this also depends on the terrain and slope.
MAINTAINING YOUR GUTTERS
By now you see that gutters are worth a little of your time to make sure they stay in good working condition. At least once each season, walk around your home and look at your gutters for signs of damage. It’s most effective to do this when it’s raining so you can see if the gutters are clogged anywhere. You’ll also be watching for sagging, rust, separated seams, dents, pulling away from the fascia, and any other obvious signs of wear and tear.
Gutters should be cleaned in the spring and fall seasons following the last snow and the last of the leaves to fall. Clogged gutters can quickly cause water problems for your home and can lead to additional gutter damage. Make sure the downspouts are connected properly and convey water an average of four feet distance, depending on conditions, away from your home’s walls.
If you haven’t done so in more than a year or since the last bad storm, call Younger Exteriors for a free gutter and roof inspection. It’s always good to know the condition your gutters and roof are in, and we’ll be happy to perform a comprehensive and FREE inspection.
If you do need home exterior repairs now or in the future, you’ll receive our 10-YEAR CRAFTSMANSHIP GUARANTEE in addition to any manufacturer’s warranties from Younger Exteriors! Call us at (612) 360-0320 for your next home exterior project!