Gutters are more than half-tubes of aluminum hanging around the edge of your roof. They are an integral part of a home’s drainage system, which keeps water away from the foundation and walls to prevent flooding, mold growth, and structural damage. Gutter installation and maintenance by a professional are essential to protecting your home. Here are just some of the benefits:
Prevents Water Damage
A gutter system is designed to carry precipitation away from home, directing it out and away from foundations and underground areas where it could cause damage. Gutter systems also prevent standing water from soaking into the ground, which could seep into the house and swell cracks in the foundation, potentially damaging the home’s structural integrity and causing costly repairs.
A reputable gutter installation pro will install your gutters in Lafayette, LA using fasteners that aren’t likely to loosen or fall off over time. They will also properly orient downspouts and ensure that they are draining far enough away from the home to protect it from flooding.
When splicing together lengths of gutter, a good roofer will use a heavy bead of lap sealer to ensure the seam is completely waterproof. They’ll also overlap the end of one section over the back of the next section, snap the front flanges together and screw them with sheet-metal screws.
Prevents Roof Damage
Gutters can help prevent roof damage, as they direct water away from the home. Without gutters, water could flow over the roof and into the walls, causing moisture problems such as rot, mildew, mold, and structural damage. With gutters, water is channeled away from the house and deposited on the ground where it can’t cause problems.
However, gutters alone aren’t enough to keep water from causing damage. They must be paired with downspouts, fat pipes that drive water into them and then down and away from the house.
Gutter installation may seem simple, but getting it right is vital. A professional roofing company can properly size and install gutters and downspouts for your home’s unique roofline and ensure they are placed in the correct spots to prevent water damage to your house and yard. They can also provide all the necessary tools and equipment for the job.
Prevents Damp Basements
A damp basement is a breeding ground for mold, mildew, wood rot, and other damage to the home’s structure. Gutters direct water from the basement and crawl spaces to keep them dry. While a moisture barrier or coating might seem quick, these methods only provide a temporary solution and often deteriorate over time.
Keeping your gutters clean and functioning properly will prevent the accumulation of debris that can lead to clogged downspouts. It also is important to ensure that the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation walls. If the grading around your house is flat to negative, it’s easy to correct by adding gutter extensions so that concentrated amounts of roof runoff aren’t draining at one point near the foundation. It’s a simple and affordable way to prevent a damp basement.
Prevents Ice Dams
Ice dams are a common problem in the winter for south-central Pennsylvania homeowners. These buildups of ice and snow along the roof overhang can create dangerous icicles that fall and damage homes and landscaping. They can also allow water to drip down from the roof and ruin shingles, insulation, and interior drywall.
Gutter systems don’t cause ice dams, but they can prevent them by providing a place for the snow to fall and drain. Without gutters, the melting snow would fall on the cold roof and refreeze. This can lead to a buildup of ice and water that causes leaks.
Another way to stop ice dams is with de-icing cables, and insulated electric heating wires designed specifically for roof and gutter use. They’re available from some contractors and can be the best long-term solution to this common problem. If you’re interested in permanently stopping ice dams, having your attic properly insulated and air sealed may be the right solution for you — it could be FREE up-front.
Prevents Foundation Damage
A solid foundation is essential to a house’s structural integrity, and gutters play an important role. They enable rainwater to drain away from the foundation soil, following the slope of the land. When the slope isn’t correct, water can leach into the basement or crawl space.
To check your slope, mark a spot on the ground 10 feet from your downspout. Then, measure to see if the second mark is higher than the first. If it is, the gutter slope needs to be adjusted.
The right materials and professional installation are key to a proper gutter system. Look for a contractor with workers’ compensation, general liability insurance coverage, and the proper credentials for your area. A reputable company will also ensure that all gutter parts are delivered before starting work on your home. This prevents errors or mishaps resulting in costly repair or replacement costs.
Mold is a fungus that thrives in warm, damp, and humid environments. When it grows, it releases spores that can negatively impact indoor air quality and cause health problems. Mold spores can also damage building materials and lead to structural damage.
Gutters can help prevent the growth of mold and mildew. A well-functioning gutter system will allow rainwater to flow through the gutters and into the ground away from your home. An improperly pitched or sloped gutter can allow debris to accumulate and clog the system, causing leaks in your attic where mold and mildew may grow.
If you are a homeowner looking to install gutters or repair your current ones, contact a professional to complete the work. They know the required safety measures and can safely and efficiently handle the job. Their skills and tools will help ensure your gutters function properly to protect your home from harsh weather.