Gutters are the unsung heroes of your home. You don’t pay much attention to them, but they prevent a waterfall of rain from cascading over your head when you enter or exit the house, protect your home's foundation, and preserve your landscaping. They’re a vital part of your home, and you need to keep them in good condition.
Hanging gutters is not as simple as tacking them up on the side of the house. If you look closely at gutters, they are carefully angled to keep the water moving properly. The angle has to be ideal; otherwise, the water won’t drain away. If the angle is too steep, the water can overwhelm the downspouts and cause problems. Professional installers know what the proper angles are, how to determine them, and how to create them.
Another consideration that professional gutter installers take into account is the need to minimize seams. Every seam in your gutter represents a weak point in the system. Leaves and debris can become trapped there, and that leads to clogs. The seams are also more likely to wear and break down over the years, creating a possible focus for leaks. If you install your own gutters, make sure you buy the longest runs possible and carefully plan the installation to minimize seams.
If the gutters aren’t directing water to the appropriate areas, it will find its own destination. A steady downpour along the foundation erodes the ground, exposes foundation walls, and will eventually lead to water in your basement or crawlspace. Gutters that are clogged are just as harmful to your property. With nowhere to go, water backs up over the edges of the gutters. It can find its way into your roof space or behind siding. Rot, mold, and mildew will start to develop and grow steadily worse over time.
Finally, gutters that are falling apart or rusting are an eyesore. People may not notice when the gutters look great, but they stand out in all the wrong ways when they are in poor condition. It hurts your curb appeal, and that lowers the value of your house.
It’s important to inspect your gutters occasionally. Look at the gutters when it’s raining to make sure water is moving through the system as it should. If you see water dripping through seams or cracks, you should invest in new gutters immediately. Areas where the water is pouring out over the top of the gutter indicate clogs. You should also inspect the gutter when the weather is nice. Look for areas where the gutters are pulling away from the fascia, and have them repaired as soon as possible.
When you are ready for new gutters or covers, consider calling in the professionals. In addition to knowing the exact slopes that are required, professionals can provide you with durable seamless gutters. They are more durable with their seamless construction, and they are also more attractive. Most importantly, they wind up costing about the same as if you bought the materials at the local home improvement store and installed the new gutters yourself.