Protect Your Home By Keeping Your Gutters In Good Shape

If you're like most people, you rarely think of your home's gutters unless there is a problem, such as a clog somewhere. Your gutters run around the perimeter of your home, attached at the roof edge. Their primary goal is to collect rain water and snowmelt and carry it away down the rainspouts. You may be surprised to learn that your gutters also work to keep your foundation in good shape. But if your gutters aren't regularly maintained, issues can arise. Here is what you need to know to make sure your gutters are doing their job.

How Do Gutters Protect Your Home?

If a home didn't have gutters at all, whenever it rained or the snow melted in the spring, the water would run off the roof and fall directly down along the side of your home. Not only would this leave dirty streaks all over your siding, it would deposit water right next to your foundation. The same thing can happen when your gutters are clogged or are cracked and need to be repaired. The water won't be able to travel through this miniature aqueduct system and down the rainspout, where it is carried away from the home.

Pooling water will gradually erode the soil around your home. This can then potentially cause your foundation to shift. If your foundation settles into the ground, this can cause cracks in your foundation as well as cracks in your walls on the above-grade floors. Existing cracks in the foundation walls will worsen, and it will likely lead to water entering your home. Mold and mildew can quickly result. This is a health hazard as the mold spores will travel throughout your home's ventilation system, which can mean big trouble for those with asthma and allergies.

Gutters also protect your roof. When water or snowmelt aren't carried away, it can also adversely affect your roof. The underlayment will become wet, which will eventually cause rot and mold. Over time, this will lead to a break in the integrity of your roof and cause a leak.

How Should Your Gutters Be Cared For?

Gutters can crack from the elements. They can also begin sagging in areas that receive heavy snowfall when chunks of ice slide off. If your home has a lot of deciduous trees in the yard, the gutters can fill with leaves each autumn. Your home's gutters should be inspected twice a year. In early spring, immediately after the snow melts but before springtime rains start, visually inspect for any signs of sagging or bulging. Use binoculars to check for any cracks. Make sure your downspouts and the tray or extension that carries water away haven't shifted out of place over the winter. In autumn, inspect your gutters again for any signs of clogs from fallen leaves. If you're like most people, you probably don't feel like dragging a ladder all around your home and climbing up and down several times to check on your gutters. Hire a professional to do the job for you instead. They can make any necessary repairs, clean out debris, and check the roof and foundation at the same time. They can also install a gutter guard that will help keep debris from getting into begin with or construct an extension system that will divert the water to your garden or pond. 

For more information, contact a gutter repair company.