The Importance of Gutters on Your Home
When you decide to start hunting for the perfect home, gutters are probably the last thing on your mind. Not too many people look at a house and say, “Man, I really love those rain gutters. Sold!” It’s more likely that you won’t even notice the gutters are there, or alternatively if they’re missing completely.
However, this seemingly small detail of construction can have a major impact on the overall functionality, integrity, and durability of your home. There’s simply no way to overstate the importance of gutters when it comes to protecting your property from the onslaught of the elements, especially if you live in a region that frequently experiences inclement weather like rain, sleet, hail, and snow.
While you’re probably aware of the fact that gutters funnel rainwater away from your home, you might not know what could happen if gutters are missing, damaged, or simply unsuitable for your home and regional weather conditions. If you want to maintain your home value and avoid excessive repair costs, suitable gutters are a must. Here’s what you need to know about the importance of gutters on your home.
Avoid Damage to Your Structure
You might think the roof and the walls of your home are adequate to protect you from the outside elements. It is true that your shingles and siding are designed to keep the weather at bay. However, gutters are a big part of the equation, as all of the components of construction work together toward a common goal.
When gutters are clogged, damaged, or missing, you could face a variety of issues, mainly related to water seepage. Without gutters and downspouts performing the task of funneling water away from your home, runnels coming off the roof could seep under the siding or pool around the foundations of your home, causing issues like mold and rot, or causing foundations to crumble or even crack if water freezes.
If gutters are backed up with leaves and debris, water could pool on the roof line, seeping under shingles and causing damage. In freezing temperatures, ice dams could form, putting pressure on roofing materials that causes cracking, leaking, and even collapse if ice gets heavy enough. Dangerous icicles could form at the eaves, creating a hazard for anyone walking below. The point is that gutters serve an important role that the average homeowner might not fully realize until it’s too late.
Protect Your Landscaping
When gutters are defunct, water could pool around the perimeter of the home, creating a swampy mess, drowning out plant life, and ultimately turning a lovely yard into a mud pit (and a dustbowl once the water dries up). Proper grading and soil composition can help to alleviate such issues, but gutters and downspouts can prevent such problems before they start.
Reduce Costs for Remediation
You’ll be happy to hear that gutters are relatively inexpensive to install and maintain, especially when compared to the potential costs of remediation from water damage. Nobody wants to deal with the inconvenience of leaks in the home, but even worse is the cost to replace damaged materials, from roofing and siding to drywall and flooring, to the inner framing of your home.
Rot can compromise the integrity of your structure, making your home unsafe, and mold can create untold health risks for your family. Gutters help to prevent the many dangers inherent to water damage, as well as the costs for remediation, saving you tons of money over time. This can also help you to maintain the overall value of your home.
Keeping Gutters in Good Shape
The best way to avoid the major expenses related to gutter failure is to pay a little up front to keep them in good working order. This means conducting an annual inspection to check for clogs or damage, as well as cleaning your gutters regularly and making repairs or replacing parts as needed.
For many homeowners, this annual maintenance task can be a hassle, and getting up on a ladder to clean and inspect gutters is a dangerous proposition. The good news is that there are plenty of professional service providers to tackle this important task for you.
Just as you pay for expert technicians to perform HVAC inspections or flush your water heater each year, you can set up a schedule for gutter cleaning and repairs to coincide with the transition from fall to winter. This way you’ll clear out the leaves of fall to make way for the rain and snow of winter, ensuring your gutters are clear of debris and ready to perform when you need them most.