It is impossible to overstate the value of properly constructed and maintained gutters. Every home should have gutters, and building regulators across the country have begun to recognize this in recent years. Gutters are now required on all new residential construction in many cities across the country.
The following are some of the reasons why rain gutters are so important:
- The soil in the area around the house is stabilized.
- Foundation problems can be avoided
- Flooding under houses and in basements can be prevented
- Erosion can be prevented and this preserves landscaping and turf
- Water damage to siding can be prevented
- Water staining on brick and stone masonry can be prevented
- Settling and cracking of sidewalks, patios, and driveways can be lessened
- Exterior doors and garage overhead doors can be preserved
Rain gutters have one disadvantage: they require maintenance. Homeowners must maintain vigilance in keeping them clean and functional. If you have gutters, chances are you don’t clean them frequently enough. You are waiting far too long if you wait until your gutters are full of leaves and you are scooping soil out of them. You’ve undoubtedly caused some damage to your gutters if you have weeds and grass growing in them. After all, gutters were never designed to be used for gardening.
Here are some of the issues that clogged gutters can cause: Water damming occurs which can cause damage to eaves
- Water can leak into the house and cause damage to walls and flooring
- Mosquitoes can breed in the standing water
- Leaves in gutters can be a fire hazard, especially in areas prone to wildfires
- Deterioration of gutters occurs which causes leaks and eventual failure
The regularity with which you should clean your gutters is determined by the type of home you have. The proximity of trees to the roofline, the type of trees (deciduous vs. evergreen), and the roof slope are all determining factors. Roofs with a low slope may require more regular cleaning.
Gutter cleaning is required at least twice a year for residences with trees within ten feet of the roofline. Gutter cleaning may be required a number of times during the fall season. One common misconception regarding gutters is that residences without trees do not require gutter cleaning. Over time these shingles lose their granules and these granules make their way into the gutters.