Importance of a Home's Gutter System July 02 2014

 

Having a gutter system properly installed on your home is critical.

The function of a gutter system is to help control rainwater flow from your home's roof to the ground. It prevents damage to your home's exterior and surrounds, soil erosion, landscaping, foundation and substructure.

It’s important to keep your gutters in good shape and free of clogs, leaves and other debris that may interrupt the flow of excess roof runoff, i.e. melted snow and rainwater.

Maintenance & Repair

As time passes and seasons change leaves, ice, snow, rainwater, tree branches and so on can cause your gutters to get damaged, that's why gutter maintenance is crucial. Buildup creates extra weight which pulls the gutters away from your home’s fascia boards. With accumulation of debris buildup it can cause water to leak into your home. This usually will manifest in your attic or between the siding of your home, possible mold growth.

The ideal time to check your gutters for damage is in the spring and summer seasons and after a heavy storm. After a storm is a great time to assess whether water diversion and water flow is moving in the right manor. Circle your home and see where the flow is and where the flow is stopped by leaves and debris.

If your gutters have pulled away from the home it may be as easy as fastening them back into place.

If you are unable to repair them yourself then your best option would be to seek a qualified contractor to repair or replace your gutter system.

Replacing Gutters

Gutters are available in the following materials; vinyl, steel, aluminum, and copper-each carry their own pros and cons

Vinyl Gutters

Pro:

  • Won’t chip or dent
  • Easy and lightweight
  • Cheap

Con:

  • Will expand and contract in extreme cold and hot temperatures and possibly crack
Bottom Line: Not a great option and lacks quality.

 

Steel Gutters 

Pro:

  • Sturdy and will support a lot of weight with minimum damage
  • Relatively inexpensive
Con:
  • Requires maintenance
  • Will rust with improper drainage
Bottom Line: Decent option but not the best due to maintenance.

 

Aluminum Gutters

Pro:

  • Won’t rust
  • Seamless
  • Affordable
Con:
  • Can dent and bend with extra weight, high winds and falling debris.

Bottom Line: Best most practical option.

 

Copper Gutters

Pro:

  • Attractive, beautiful and durable
  • 70+ year life span
  • Will oxidize and turn attractive green color
Con:
  • A target for thieves
  • Extremely expensive

Bottom Line: Expensive and not budget friendly but look unbelievably impressive and carry great curb appeal.

 

For more info check out the article "Gauging Gutters" on "This Old House."


Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for your time!