Complete Guide to Inspecting Gutters for Structural Damage

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Complete Guide to Inspecting Gutters for Structural Damage

Complete Guide to Inspecting Gutters for Structural Damage

An unsung hero that keeps your home in good condition is your gutters. Because they direct water away from your home, your gutters serve a crucial role in preventing mold, mildew, and other water damage that might lead to bigger problems. For example, without gutters, falling water might erode the soil around your home’s foundation and create costly structural issues.

Just like other parts of your home, your gutters can become damaged from any number of reasons, including a Colorado hail storm, pests, mistreatment (e.g., hanging holiday lights incorrectly), and more.

Each year, you should perform an inspection to determine if you have gutter damage. You can do so during your normal gutter cleaning, or you can leave it to the professionals by scheduling a gutter inspection near you.

Understand Why Your Gutters May Be Damaged

Aside from expected issues like a hail storm in Denver or general wear and tear as your gutters age, there are other factors that contribute to the health of your gutters.

First of all, the location of your home contributes a great deal to the lifespan of your gutters. In Colorado, it’s common for a home to endure hail storm damage to the roof that requires specific hail storm restoration. You must also be aware of pooling water and how freezing conditions can damage your gutters and other parts of your home.

Aside from hail and ice, you should also pay attention to other weather events like strong winds, the accumulation of heavy snow (which can weigh on your gutters and pull them away from your roof), and heavy rainfall. If your gutters are clogged with sticks, leaves, mud, or the occasional tennis ball, you risk water pooling in your gutters, which can overflow and create other problems.

Fortunately, there have been significant improvements to gutter materials in recent years. Here are some various types of gutters:

  • K-Style: These are common types of gutters for their decorative appearance and how easy they are to work with. However, they can be difficult to clean.

types of gutters for their decorative appearance

  • Half-Round: Just as they sound, half-round gutters are shaped like half a circle and provide a round aesthetic appearance. They are commonly found on old or historic homes.

half round gutters

  • Fascia: Fascia gutters are made from a single piece of aluminum that’s custom-made for your home. Because of this custom approach, they can be expensive to install and are not DIY.

Fascia gutters

  • Box-Style: These gutters are most commonly found on industrial or commercial buildings, as they’re purpose-built to handle heavy amounts of water. Instead of being attached to your fascia boards, box-style gutters have a high back section that’s tucked underneath your shingles (meaning they need to be installed professionally during your home’s construction).

industrial or commercial buildings gutters

The materials most commonly used for gutters are:

  • Vinyl
  • Aluminum
  • Zinc
  • Galvanized Steel

Vinyl and aluminum gutters are by far the most common on homes, but their lifespan of 10 to 20 years isn’t as long as other types. Zinc gutters, for example, have been known to last a whopping 80 years! With that said, there have been improvements to gutter materials, like heavier-gauge aluminum, which can result in a longer lifespan than typical aluminum gutters. Storm damage also impacts the lifespan of your gutters, and our Colorado hail season can dent and damage gutters. After a hail storm, it’s a good idea to have your gutters inspected.

How to Inspect Your Gutters for Structural Damage

There are numerous signs of gutter damage, and here’s how to get started with your inspection.

1.    Check Corners & Seams

The corners and seams of your gutter system is the most common place for leaks to appear. Usually this is due to clogging or missing caulking.

2.    Look for Dents, Cracks, and Other Damage

Hail storms can wreak havoc on your gutters as well as other parts of your home. If you see dents or cracks anywhere on your gutters or downspouts, you should have them inspected and consider replacement.

3.    Watch Where Water Is Pooling

Look around your yard, driveway, patio, etc. to see if you have any pooling water. If it’s accumulating in any spot, it’s likely because your gutters aren’t properly diverting water away from your home.

4.    Is Water Overflowing Your Gutters?

While it’s raining, you can take a look at how the water is flowing through your gutters. If it’s falling behind your gutters, it means either your roof’s shingles are too short, or your drip edge is missing. Similarly, if your gutters appear to be overflowing (or not draining well after the rain stops), you most likely have a clog and need to safely clean your gutters.

5.    Don’t Forget About Downspouts

Your downspouts are a key component to your gutters working properly. Check them for dents, cracks, clogging and other damage.

Get Help With Your Gutters

Maintaining your gutters is an important part of maintaining your home. A good time to check your gutters for damage is when you perform your routine cleaning process in the fall and spring, and after any storms.

If you need help inspecting your gutters, get in touch with J&K Roofing. Our team is experienced, knowledgeable, and available to help you make sure your gutters and roof are in good shape and functioning properly. We’re certified in all the materials we work with, including those listed in this article, and we stay updated on the latest advancements in roofing and gutter materials.

Click here or give us a call at 303-425-7531.

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How Gutters Can Help You Save Money on Repairs and Maintenance

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How Gutters Can Help You Save Money on Repairs and Maintenance

How Gutters Can Help You Save Money on Repairs and Maintenance

Your gutters serve as a sort of unsung hero of your roofing system, creating an outlet for water to properly drain off your roof and away from your home. They’re important throughout all parts of the year, especially in Colorado where we get significant amounts of snow, hail, and rain.

But if you don’t pay attention to your gutters, you could be asking for trouble. Well-maintained gutters can save you a lot of money on repairs to your roof, siding, landscaping, foundation, basement, and other parts of your home. Read on to learn how gutters can help you save money on repairs and maintenance.

How Long Do Gutters Last?

The total lifespan of your gutters depends on several factors, including your climate, your home, the quality of original installation, and most importantly how well you maintain them. Generally speaking, well-maintained gutters should last around 20 years. As with any roofing or home maintenance issue, make sure you hire a roofing services professional who knows how to install gutters properly on your home.

How Can I Save Money on Gutter Repairs and Maintenance?

The state of your gutters can have a huge impact on your home and home maintenance. Ignoring maintenance and repairs can lead to substantial problems, sometimes requiring extensive roof leak repairs or other costly fixes.

Clean Your Gutters Regularly to Prevent Repairs and Replacement

A standard part of maintaining your home and keeping it in good shape is to regularly clean your gutters. This should be done at least twice a year—ideally in the spring and fall, and after a heavy storm to prevent clogs and sagging, overflowing and damaged gutters. Doing so will not only keep your gutters clean and free of debris that might cause clogs and drainage issues, but it will also give you a general idea of how well your gutters are functioning and if they need repair or replacement. This can extend the life of your gutters and prevent you from spending money on new gutters before it’s necessary.

Fix Water Leaks to Keep Your Foundation Strong

Water leaks from damaged or clogged gutters can create drainage issues and lead to water damage, including to your foundation. If there’s a gap or crack in your gutters, water will leak and erode the soil surrounding your home, which can weaken your foundation.

Note: Holiday lights are often hung from gutters, but they must be hung and taken down with special attention to make sure you don’t damage your gutters or have your gutters pull away from your roof. Here’s more information on how to safely hang holiday lights, as well as how to properly take them down.

Clean, Functioning Gutters Protect Your Home

Your gutters are a first-line defense against inclement weather that can lead to major damage. Broken or malfunctioning gutters can lead to issues with your siding, windows, garage doors, landscaping, and more. Water from strong storms (including melting hail and snow) must have a place to go, otherwise, you risk water build-up that can cause backups into your roofing system, winter ice-dams, staining from water overflow on the side of your home, and more. Each of these issues can be expensive to remedy.

Don’t Ignore Repairs and Maintenance

The best thing you can do for the health of your gutters and the protection of your home is to take care of issues as soon as they arise. If you recognize any damage to your gutters from strong hail storms, wind, or general age/wear and tear, you should take care of it as soon as possible. Doing so can save you money and keep your home in good shape.

Replace your gutters when you replace your roof

If you’re ready for a roof replacement, you might also consider new gutters. It’s the perfect time to tear-off and replace your gutters without any damage to your roofing system. There are many types of gutter systems to choose from including sectional gutters or seamless gutters. Sectional gutters have overlapping metal lengths and joiner pieces, while seamless gutters are extruded to form the gutters into place. There are many materials and colors available.

Seamless gutters are stronger than sectional gutters, making them more reliable and less prone to leaks and other damage. The cost of installing seamless gutters varies based on your home and how much will be involved in your gutter replacement. Typically, you can expect to spend somewhere between $9 and $25 per foot. Find a licensed, experienced contractor to install seamless gutters near you.

Let Us Help You

If you have any gutter or roofing needs, get in touch with us right away. Our team of knowledgeable professionals is certified in all materials we work with, and we provide service all along the Denver Metro, Front Range, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and Northern Colorado areas.

Give us a call at 303-425-7531!

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