Why Working Gutters Are Important
Gutters serve an important function on the home in diverting water away from its foundation. This is important because wet soil and standing water can cause severe structural issues and damage the home. Working gutters control rainwater and melting snow on the roof and drains it far away from the home’s foundation.
Homes without gutters often experience significant wood rot on the fascia boards and soffits. This is because water running off the roof can easily find its way into open seams or places missing caulk and paint. Alternatively, a properly installed and well-maintained gutter protects the home by funneling the water through the downspout into the storm water system or out across the lawn.
When melting snow or rainwater is allowed to fall uncontrolled from the rooftop, it can easily cause erosion around the home’s perimeter. This is especially true during times of heavy downpours when the huge volumes of water collect on the roof and pour over the roof edge. When not properly controlled, the excessive water can easily pond in the yard and cause damaged grass and muddy soil.
Keeping Foundations Dry
One of the most important aspects of a working gutter is its ability to funnel water away from the home’s foundation or basement walls. Undirected water falling from the roof will naturally saturate the soil near the foundation. In short time, the rainwater sinks into the ground, and permeates the foundation walls as a result of hydrostatic pressure.
The hydrostatic pressure causes tiny cracks and fissures in the basement walls, eventually leading to serious flooding. Even in situations where the permeated water does not cause a crack, the excess moisture can soak through basement walls that will result in a buckled foundation. Buckling in the foundation wall can be extremely costly to repair.
Keeping Foundations Stable
Working gutters functioning properly can keep the foundation of the home stable. This is because any standing water near the basement walls can ultimately work its way under the home’s foundation. This process will settle the home, which can eventually separate the foundation from the remainder of the house. Working gutters avoid this problem because it directs the water away from the perimeter of the home and out onto the lawn.
Homeowner should never overlook the importance of keeping their gutter system clean and working properly. An efficient, smooth operating gutter can avoid extensive water damage and help protect the house year-round. However, cleaning the gutters can create an unsafe hazard, standing on tall ladders while working around hidden electric lines, and nesting insects.
Even so, it is important that the gutter system operates properly. This means tightening up loose gutter sections using long lag bolts or replacing missing gutter spikes. When cleaning out the gutter system it is important to look for any signs of wood destroying insects that might be burrowing their way into the fascia board.
Install Gutter Guards
When the gutter system is functioning as it was designed, after being adjusted and cleaned, homeowners should consider installing effective gutter guards. This will avoid the need to clean out the gutters in the near future. There are many types of gutter guards available. The guards are designed to allow water to penetrate into the gutter system and all debris to wash across the tops of the gutter. This prevents the ability for insects and critters to nest in accumulated leaves and debris inside the gutter system.
Working gutters that remain clean avoid unnecessary major home repairs. An efficient gutter system protects the home against leaky basements, cracked foundations, soil erosion and rotted wood.