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Gutters and Your Home: What Are They and Why Are They So Important?

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When building a home, a gutter system may not be at the top of your mind. After all, it isn’t the most exciting aspect of a home’s design. Nonetheless, a gutter system is essential in maintaining the integrity of your home.

What Do Gutters Do?

Very simply, the gutters direct rain and snowmelt off of your roof and away from the foundation of the house. Water pouring onto the ground may not seem like a big deal, but the water that accumulates during a storm can actually cause significant damage if not redirected.

  • Erosion

Imagine spraying a hose on high pressure directly onto one area of your lawn: the top layer can be completely gouged out, grass and all! The same is true of runoff from your roof. Over time, the water can erode the foundation, leading to structural instability and the potential for leaks in the basement area.

  • Yard Damage

Gutters and downspouts also preserve your yard. Water that is not safely re-routed has the potential to pool, cut out ditches, and drown flowers and lawns.

  • Pests

Standing water is appealing to insects and rodents. You may also unintentionally attract larger animals that eat these pests.

  • Mold and Algae

Mold and algae thrive in damp conditions. Water seeping into the foundation can soak through walls and create ideal growing conditions for mold and algae, which can greatly damage your home’s structure.

How to Maintain Your Gutter System

A poorly-maintained gutters system is just as bad as not having one at all! It is important to make sure your gutters are free of leaves and debris that block water flow.* It is recommended that you clean your gutters at least twice per year: once in the fall and once in the spring. You can do the job yourself or hire a professional to reduce your risk of injury or if you do not have the necessary tools. A professional roofer will also be able to ensure your gutters are at an appropriate slope. Gutter systems must be pitched at an angle to allow water to flow to the downspouts.

In winter, water that is trapped in a blocked gutter can freeze. The added weight can cause the gutters to pull away from the house.

  • Damage to Walls and Ceiling

The same water that freezes in the winter can cause damage in the warmer months by seeping into the wooden fascia where the gutters are mounted. When these rots, moisture can get into the home,  damaging the walls and ceiling.

  • Damage to Your Roof

Water overflowing from clogged gutters can damage the underlying materials of your roofing system, especially the wooden sheeting. The sheeting can rot and spread to the surface materials, leading to expensive repairs.

  • Water Splash Back

Rainwater cascading off of a roof can hit clogged gutters or the ground with enough force to cause dirt, grass, minerals, and other debris to splashback against the exterior of your home, leading to damaged siding, stains, and discoloration.

A properly installed and well-maintained gutter system is essential in protecting your home and yard. J&K Roofing offers free roof inspections in the Denver Metro, Front Range, Colorado Springs, and Northern Colorado areas. Call us today to make sure your roof and gutters are in top shape for the summer storm season!

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