Your gutters are an important feature of your home’s exterior. It keeps water away from your home and when used correctly, stopping interior leaks and water damage.
Though gutters tend to bring up a lot of questions from homeowners. If you’re wondering how to fix or maintain your gutters, you may be wondering what the next steps are to take. Here are frequently asked questions about gutters and the answers you need to know.
Why Do I Need Gutters?
Gutters are an essential part of the home. The main function of a gutter system is to keep water away from the exterior and foundation of the house, as it falls off the roof. Gutters protect your roof, siding and foundation from erosion and water damage.
“Gutters are essential for diverting water away from your home,” said Matt Kaulig, owner of LeafFilter Gutter Protection “If left neglected, your home could experience water-related damages like foundation issues, basement flooding, mold and mildew problems, and more. It’s important to keep your gutters pitched properly toward your downspouts, free of cracks, holes, and sags, and clear of debris to effectively channel water away from your home.”
In some areas, you must have a gutter system to ensure your house is up to code. However, if you live in a climate where you don’t see much rain, it’s up to you to determine the value of gutters for your home.
How Long Do Gutters Last?
With proper care and maintenance, most gutters should last for about 20 years without needing a replacement. Copper gutters are known for their longevity, with most not needing a replacement for 50 years. However, copper gutters will require an investment upfront.
“If you have a few cracks and holes, these may be minor and could just take a bit of sealant and a little flashing to fix,” Kaulig said. “However, if you notice more than a dozen areas that have cracks and holes, you may want to opt for an entirely new gutter system.”
How Often Do I Clean My Gutters?
The task most often associated with gutters is, of course, cleaning. Getting debris like leaves and twigs out of your gutter is extremely important. A clogged gutter can cause damage to your roof or a leak inside of your home when it rains. Not to mention, it presents a fire hazard during dry conditions. It’s recommended that you clean your gutters at least twice a year, in spring and fall. You may need to do so more frequently if your gutters are located close to trees or after a heavy storm.
If you find yourself cleaning your gutters more often than you would like, it might be best to invest in a gutter guard system. There are many different varieties, some that go over your gutters and some that are tubes within, to prevent debris from settling. Determine your budget and what best fits your needs.
How Can I Tell If My Gutters Aren’t Working?
Unless you see the damage, you likely don’t think about your gutters very often. One of the best ways to tell if your gutters are working is by doing an inspection. It’s best to do so after you’ve cleaned your gutters. Check the downspouts and seams for separation or cracks. Make sure everything is aligned. If you notice something that seems out of place, be sure to contact a contractor.
Another think you’ll want to observe is peeling paint. This can be a sign that there’s an issue.
“If you notice that the paint on your home is peeling, this is an indication that your gutters aren’t working,” Kaulig said. It means you have an overflow issue as water runs down the back of your gutter along the exterior of your home. Your gutters could be worn out, misaligned, or clogged.”
Gutters are an important feature of the home, so it’s important to make sure they are taken care of correctly. When maintained properly, gutters can last a long time and protect your home from water damage.