Everything You Need to Know About Gutters

Everything You Need to Know About Gutters

Gutters serve a couple of different functions, from water management to home protection. The importance of your home's gutters shouldn't be neglected, even though they can be easy to forget. Getting to know the ins and outs of gutters allows homeowners to have their gutters run smoothly, preventing any chance of water damage.

What are Gutters?

Gutters defend your home against rain and water damage. When your home is caught in the middle of a storm, the gutters funnel water off your roof, through downspouts, and away from your home. If your gutter system didn't exist, water would pool on your home's roof and cause several issues like deterioration, rot, mold, and weakened shingles.

Types of Gutter Systems

There are numerous types of gutter systems available. Each gutter system can range from a high price point to budget-friendly—and all of them have their own pros and cons.

1. Galvanized Steel Gutters

Galvanized steel gutters are some of the best-looking gutters on the market and some of the most expensive. Those with a larger budget may be comfortable with the $25 per square foot price tag, but most will stay away from this pricing.

2. Copper Gutters

Copper gutters offer a clean copper finish, but they aren't as common as other gutter systems. The biggest draw of copper gutters is their curb appeal. Copper gutters are highly sought after, offering a stunning look once installed. However, these gutters aren't exactly budget-conscious.

3. Metal Gutters

Metal gutters are known for being very heavy and sturdy. When considering metal gutters, make sure you factor in the price. If your budget allows it, metal gutters can be a great addition to your home. Just make sure your home's structure can withstand the extra weight that comes with metal gutters.

4. Aluminum Gutters

One of the most well-rounded products in terms of gutters is the aluminum gutter. Not only are these gutters cost-effective—they are also incredibly durable. On top of that, aluminum gutters are custom fit to your home, don't have any seams or joints to possibly create opportunities for leaks, and come in different colors.

5. Vinyl Gutters

Vinyl gutters are personified by their sectional setup. Since vinyl gutters are installed in sections, they may become prone to leaks. That being said, if you take care of your vinyl gutters, they can be a great wallet-friendly choice for buyers on a budget.

6. Gutter Guards

Gutter guards have become popular in recent years—and for a good reason. These grates are fastened on top of your gutters to protect from debris. They are self-cleaning, prevent animals from using them, and have a no-clog guarantee. Make sure you choose a quality gutter guard to ensure long-lasting protection.

Lady cleaning Gutters

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The Importance of Gutter Maintenance

Once you've decided on the right gutter system and have installed it, the next step is to maintain it. Gutters aren't a one-and-done deal; here's why gutter maintenance is so important:

Rain Overflow

It's important to clean your gutters at least twice a year to keep your gutters in good condition. When there's a leak, blockage, or even an overabundance of rainfall, this can cause your gutters to overflow where water shouldn't. By checking your gutters regularly and following recommended maintenance, rain overflow won't be as big of an issue.

Stained Siding

When your gutters are clogged, water travels through the eaves of the house and leaks into the home's siding. This may cause your home's siding to become stained and could even cause warping.

Sagging

One of the more dangerous aspects of failed gutter maintenance is sagging. Due to the weight of stuck water and the clumping of debris, your gutters may begin to sag. This is an unpleasant sight for the eyes and can become hazardous for anyone who may stand or pass underneath.

Standing Water

If you ever notice pools of standing water around your home, it may be an issue with your gutters. This could mean that your gutters aren't draining properly and are failing to move water away from your home's foundation.

The Best Way To Clean Gutters

When in need of understanding the best way to clean your gutters, making sure to use tried and true steps will secure healthy and effective gutters for your home.

1. Gather Your Materials

Before starting, homeowners will want to make sure they have the right materials at their disposal to get the job done. Materials needed include:

  • Protective clothing

  • Safety goggles and gloves

  • A sturdy ladder

  • Garden trowel or scoop

  • Bucket or bag

  • Scrubbing brush

  • Hose with spray nozzle

2. Safety 101 With Tools

Cleaning your gutters can be hazardous, so it's important to keep a few safety notes in your back pocket. Practicing these methods is a necessary and smart thing to keep in mind.

When using a ladder, make sure it's stable and on a flat surface. The person on the ladder should also never climb above the second to last step, shouldn't overreach, use an extension ladder for two-story homes, and use a stabilizer for the ladder. It's also always a good idea to have a buddy with you just in case.

3. Clear Large Debris

Once the ladder is in a safe position, it's time to start clearing debris. Start cleaning your gutters in small sections, removing leaves, branches, and twigs with your garden scoop. Dispose of the debris into a bucket or bag. You can even disperse the debris back into your yard.

4. Use a Gutter Cleaning Brush

Next, use your gutter cleaning brush to scrub away any grime, dirt, and smaller debris that may get stuck in your gutters.

5. Flush With Water

After clearing out the debris, flush your gutters with your garden hose to get rid of any remaining leaves or branches. Work towards the downspout during this process.

6. Check Downspouts and Drains

If you notice water isn't flowing smoothly when you flush your gutters with water, check your downspouts and drains for any blockage. You can start by using the hose to clear the obstruction, but any harder clog may need a plumbing snake to clear it.

7. Inspect and Repair

Take this maintenance opportunity to inspect your gutters for any damage. Look for sagging sections, any rust spots, or holes. Finding these issues early on will help prevent further damage.

Contact Master Roofers For Residential Roofing

Owning a home comes with gutter responsibilities. Homeowners will have learned what gutters are and what they do, the different types of gutters, the importance of gutter maintenance, and how to clean your gutters.

For any gutter service and roofing repairs, contact the professional roofing contractors in Manchester, NH, and North Shore, MA. We're Master Roofers and we're here to help.

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