Get Your Mind In The Gutter!
Trends And Tips For Your Home’s Outdoor Drainage
ANGIE LEWIS, WRITER
Brace yourselves: Winter is coming — and its snow and ice could cause serious damage to your home’s gutters. Before that, they’ll have to survive the endless falling leaves of autumn. Are your gutters ready?
They may not be the most attractive part of your house, but gutters take on the critical job of flushing rainwater away from the foundation, as well as protecting siding, windows and doors from water damage. Without them, the beautiful elements of your home’s exterior would quickly turn into unsightly issues, such as wood rot, damaged landscaping and flooded basements.
Before fall officially begins on Sept. 22, take time to check out your home’s drainage system and ensure it can handle the worst of the upcoming seasons.
First, enlist the help of a friend or family member who can make sure you don’t end up looking like Clark Griswold on a ladder in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation! After making it safely up to your gutters, remove debris by flushing out smaller pieces with a hose. While using the water, also check your downspouts to be sure all are free of obstructions, then look for leaks. Finally, inspect the entire foundation of your home for standing water, which may indicate a clogged area or improperly pitched gutter.
If you’re not confident in your gutters’ ability to hold up through the inclement weather to come, consider installing a new system.
While they may not evoke the “oohs” and “ahs” of your home’s curb appeal, gutters present more options than ever thanks to evolving technology.
One of the newest trends includes implementing a rainwater collection system, which allows rainwater to be recycled and reused, irrigating your lawn and landscaping while cutting down your water bill, too. Adding a filtration system also allows you to turn rainwater into drinking water.
Heated gutters are also a hot choice (pun intended!), and can protect against damage from snow or ice buildup. As icicles continue to increase, roofing shingles can eventually wear down, causing subtle shifts that may lead to leaks or flooding as temperatures rise. (Or, if you’re Clark Griswold, icicles could go flying through the window of your neighbors’ house!)
Another trend is the use of aluminum, which can be configured to streamline rain to water your plants while also preventing water from accumulating near the foundation of your house. In addition, newer models of aluminum gutters feature joints and fasteners specifically designed to minimize the risk of leaks.
How To Prevent Gutter Clutter
Did you know that gutters made out of certain materials, such as aluminum and galvanized steel, can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance?
Routine cleanings and inspections are the easiest ways to keep gutters functioning at their peak performance. At least twice a year, check your gutters to be sure they are free of large debris while also looking for leaks and structural issues.
Gutter guards are another quick and easy way to keep gutters clog-free. Designed to keep debris out and allow water to flow freely, gutter guards can potentially save you thousands of dollars in roofing or drywall repairs. The most popular types of guards include screen, surface tension and fine mesh.
If you’re considering installing a new gutter system, do your research. Installation requires many important steps, such as properly spacing gutter hangers, installing gutters at the right pitch and securing them in the right spot, all of which are crucial to preventing water damage. And before you climb up a ladder and do it yourself, consult with a professional who can guide you through the pros and cons of each option based on your home and climate.
Better Homes And Gutters
Gutters constitute an essential part of your home’s roofing system. Have you recently installed new gutters? Or perhaps you have a gutter maintenance tip to share. Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
Atlas Roofing offers a variety of products, including StormMaster® Shake, StormMaster® Slate, and Pinnacle® Pristine architectural shingles, as well as underlayment, roof insulation and related roofing components. For more information, visit AtlasRoofing.com or find a contractor in your area.