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A quick reminder on the importance of having a gutter system

15 December 2016

Is your mind in the middle of summer renovations? It should definitely be if your looking to have a home in great condition. Rain water is a natural element that can wreak your property if it’s not controlled with a good, well maintained gutter system. There’s a lot of misconceptions about gutters and therefore, many mistakes that homeowners make on that behalf. In some cases, these errors can cause heavy damages rather than preventing them.

The benefits of gutters

The importance of having a gutter system can never be underlined enough. Each property should have gutters, and the proof is that building inspectors across the country are more and more aware of this in the recent years. Many municipalities across the province are now demanding that the gutters be installed on all new residential constructions.

Here are a few facts on why gutters are so important:

  • The ground around the house is stabilized
  • Foundation problems can be avoided
  • Flooding in homes and basements can be prevented
  • Less erosion, preserving landscaping and turf
  • Avoid water damage
  • No water discoloration on the bricks and stones of your property
  • Cracking on sidewalks, patios and driveways is reduced
  • Exterior doors and garage doors are well kept

Maintaining your gutters

The only downside of having a gutter system is that they require maintenance. Home owners must keep them clean and in good condition. If you have gutters, chances are that you probably don’t clean them often enough. If you wait until they are full of leaves or if you have some weeds growing in your gutters, you’ve probably caused some damage already. After all, gutters are not intended for gardening.

Here are some of the problems that can cause your gutters to clog;

  • Water retention can cause damage to the eaves
  • Water can also enter your home and cause damage to the walls and floors
  • Mosquitoes can breed in standing water
  • Leaves in the gutters can be a fire hazard, especially in areas prone to wild fires
  • Deterioration of your gutters can cause leaks

The frequency with which you need to clean the gutters depends on your home. The determining factors are the proximity of the trees, the type of trees (deciduous or not), and the slope of your roof. The low-sloped roofs may require more frequent cleaning.

For homes with trees that are less than ten feet away from the roofline, gutters should be cleaned twice a year at a minimum. In some cases, gutters may need to be cleaned a few times during fall season. Another myth about gutters is that homes without trees around it should not be cleaned. Cleaning your gutters is necessary, especially in homes with asphalt shingles. Over time, these shingles lose their granules and these make their way into your gutters.

Well installed Gutters

The majority of houses with gutters don’t have a system that is complete, or properly installed. An affective gutter system will include seamless gutters on each side of the sloping roof. They must not contain water, not have leakage and must be securely fastened to the fascia. They should have downspouts that are securely attached to the outside of the house.

And finally, downspouts should not terminate near the foundation. This is a common mistake that home owners make. What’s the use of having a gutter system that dumps all the water from your roof to the side of the foundation? A minimum of three feet of diversion is required away from the foundation. In many cases, a section of the flexible black plastic tubing can be used to branch with the downspouts.

So before purchasing a gutter system, remember to do your homework and read some reviews of these products online. One of your best options is to contact professionals who can lead you in the right direction and avoid many problems. Now you can enjoy your summer with no worries!