Your home's gutter system is not only responsible for whisking away rooftop water runoff from your home; your gutters also protect your roof against certain damages and add curb appeal at the same time. So you should take good care of your gutters.
Gutter neglect can cause deterioration and can affect your home's structure as well. Here are four ways homeowners put their properties at risk by not properly caring for their gutters. In knowing what not to do with your gutters, you can keep your entire home in better repair.
1. Letting Gutters Get Clogged
Since gutters are left wide open to the elements, it's easy for them to get clogged with debris. Gutters get filled with dust, leaves, animal droppings, branches, pine cones, and other filth. Then, the clogged gutters overflow or back up with water, which poses a risk to the home.
A clogged gutter will pull away from the roof when the weight of water buildup and debris gets to be too strong. Water backup will also affect the outer edges of a roof and the siding of the home, both of which result in costly damages. Severe or ongoing gutter clogs can even cause water to drip inside the home, leaving water damage in ceilings and along interior walls.
Prevent gutter clogging by having your roofer or gutter installation specialist clean out your gutter system every six months or as recommended.
2. Leaving Branches Overhanging the Home
Trees bordering the home should not have branches that extend over the roof. If branches hang over the roof, not only is the roof itself in danger from a falling branch, but the gutters lying underneath branches are also more likely to get filled with pollen, leaves, pine needles, and other debris. Birds and other animals even attempt to make nests in undisturbed gutters, which leads to a large mess.
Keep all branches away from the roof of your home and check your roof and gutter system periodically for fallen branches, especially following a windstorm. All branches should be removed by a specialist.
3. Not Replacing Old or Worn Gutters
The average gutter system should last around 20 years or longer, with some metal styles lasting longer than others. Because they last long, gutters are an often-ignored home upgrade, and existing gutters may be worn, pulling away from the home, or unsightly with stains and rust.
Consider upgrading a worn and dated gutter system with a newer system that will last for as long as you own your home, such as copper. Copper gutters easily last 50 years or more and add curb appeal as the metal naturally tarnishes with beautiful hues.
4. DIY Gutter Repair and Care
A gutter system is more complex than most homeowners think, so many people use DIY methods that may actually damage the system. For example, power washing gutters to remove gunk and buildup can damage existing gutters or shove debris further down the drain spout, making damages worse. And using cleaning chemicals to rinse out odorous gutters causes corrosion or further buildup in the system.
Also, placing a ladder on gutters to inspect damage or sections that have pulled away can cause more damage to occur or pose a falling risk. Installing and repairing a new gutter system is complex and requires precise measuring. If installed incorrectly, a DIY gutter system cannot only work improperly, and may cause expensive damage to rooftops and siding. If you need a new gutter system or want to maintain your gutters, call an expert.
If you avoid common homeowner gutter system mistakes, you keep not just your gutters, but also your roof and home in better condition. Rely on our expertise at Rain-Flow Gutters to keep your gutter system in beautiful, healthy condition. Make an appointment with us today.