There are many different features of a home that may draw someone to it whether it is the cathedral ceilings, the spacious deck, or the unique architecture. Many would not put great gutters on the top of their list of household musts, but gutters are more important than most know or acknowledge.
While gutters may seem very unassuming they are extremely important; gutters are shallow troughs attached to the end of one’s roof that help direct rain water away from one’s home. A residence without gutters can be susceptible to many different problems including the entrance of water into one’s home. This can take place either by the water sliding down and going underneath the siding or accumulating at the base causing cracking and damage to the foundation.
Once an entrance, such as a crack, is made in the exterior of the home and goes unattended water will begin to come through that entrance into your interior. However, a home without a gutter system is not the only location which needs to be vigilant.
If a home has a gutter system, but it is not cleaned or inspected regularly it could also become problematic. Gutters can leak, break, or allow for water build up which can lead to damage to a home’s roof. Proper inspection and cleaning is a must.
Proper care is important for the performance of your gutters. Gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year (most likely in the fall and spring). If a home has a great deal of trees above the gutters a proper cleaning may be needed 2-3 times during the fall alone. To properly clean your gutters stand atop an extendable ladder (standoff stabilizers or “ladder horns” are optimal) and use a small plastic scoop to remove the debris which has collected. Once you have removed the debris flush the remaining residue with a garden hose. Not only will this clean the gutters, but it will also show if there are any leaks or cracks within the gutters.
Even with proper and diligent care of your gutters water may still find a way to enter your home whether it is from an unforeseen leak, a sump pump failure, or a crack in the foundation. Finding water in your home can be very upsetting and unsettling. If you find water in your home try and follow the steps below to ensure the safety of yourself and your home.