The Importance of Gutters For Protecting Your Home
Gutters are vital to your home, yet homeowners often overlook them on maintenance lists.
Gutter systems are small but mighty and ensure your home’s structural integrity, protecting it from water damage around the clock. This blog explains how gutters work and why investing in great gutters that are properly installed are always recommended.
“Gutters are one of the most ignored parts of any homeowner’s maintenance list.”
Gutter Components & Functionality Explained.
First, let’s break down the basics of how gutters work at a fundamental level and define a few key terms.
1. When it rains, water rolls down a roof and reaches an entry point to a gutter in a gutter system.
Gutter: A shallow trough fixed beneath the edge of a roof that carries off rainwater or snow melt.
2. At this point, water and debris is filtered through gutter guards to prevent backups and ensure water flows easily through the system.
Gutter Guard: a device that prevents debris such as leaves, twigs, pine needles and other small particles from entering and clogging your gutters.
3. Gutter systems are installed to follow roofs’ natural slopes and pitches.
Water naturally flows from a gutter to a downspout. Downspouts prevent water from splashing or dripping as it reaches ground level.
Downspout: a vertical pipe that moves rainwater out of a gutter, away from a structure and empties safely to the ground or into a drainage system.
4. Finally, splash blocks are placed at the base of the downspouts to divert water further away from the home or building.
Splash Block: a concrete or plastic block at the base of the downspout that moves rainwater away from the structure and prevents rainwater from pooling at the base of the downspout, further protecting basements and foundations.
4 Ways Gutters Protect Your Home.
Now that you know how they work, here are four ways they protect your home. Some may surprise you!
1. Gutters Protect Your Home From Water Damage.
They collect rainwater that falls on your roof and direct it away from your home. This prevents excessive water accumulation and reduces erosion, foundation damage and basement flooding.
Without a gutter system, rainwater would flow directly off your roof and create pools around the base of your home. Over time, this water can seep into the foundation, causing cracks, mold growth and severe structural damage.
2. Gutters Protect Your Home’s Exterior Walls.
They not only direct water away from the base of your home, but they direct it away from the exterior walls of your home, too. This preserves the appearance and structural integrity of your home’s exterior, greatly extending the lifespan of your siding, paint, or other finishes.
Without gutters, water would flow right down the side of your home, causing significant damage.
3. Gutters Protect Your Landscaping & Prevent Erosion.
Gutters prevent excessive water runoff and erosion, especially during heavy precipitation. Large amounts of water runoff can wash away soil, mulch or plants, leading to erosion. Erosion compromises the stability of the ground around your home’s foundation, which can lead to potential structural issues.
4. Gutters Help Prevent Ice Dams.
In colder climates, ice dams can cause a lot of damage to your home. An ice dam is a buildup of ice that forms along the edge of your roof. They occur when melted snow (water) flows downward toward the colder roof edge and refreezes due to the lower temperature, creating an ice barrier. Professionally installed gutters ensures proper water flow, reducing the likelihood of refreezing.
Quality Systems Ensure Quality Water Protection.
Like most things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to gutter systems and components. Common gutter materials include aluminum, stainless or galvanized steel, copper, zinc or vinyl, each varying in quality and cost. The quality of the components dramatically affects their effectiveness and expected lifespan.
One of the most common causes of gutter system failures is weak brackets or nails used in the installation, causing downspouts and gutters to become detached from the system, rendering it ineffective.
Clean Your Gutters Seasonally For The Most Protection.
Gutter cleaning is critical for your home’s maintenance. Experts recommend cleaning gutters at least twice a year, with some homes requiring 3-4 times a year due to tree coverage and debris accumulation. Cleaning involves getting up on a ladder and removing debris from gutter guards and troughs to prevent clogs.
A professional roofer knows what to look for when cleaning and inspecting your gutters. At Valley Roofing & Exteriors, we have over a decade of experience cleaning gutters. From pitched and peaked roofs to gutters on three-story homes, our certified professionals ensure your gutters are clean and in tip-top shape. Best of all, we make recommendations on fixing any problems we find.
Valley Roofing & Exteriors’ Experienced Gutter Installers Do The Job Right.
At Valley Roofing & Exteriors, we have a team of experienced professionals that install gutters and leaf-guard protection systems, inspect systems and provide cleaning services.
Do you have more questions about gutters for your Charlottesville home? Contact Valley Roofing & Exteriors to speak with our expert installers about installation, cleaning and maintenance.