Gutter and Downspout Maintenance - What you Need to Know

By: Terry Edwards

Many people take their rain gutters and downspouts for granted. They see the guttering attached to their home, but they never give them a second thought. That can be a mistake for several reasons that we will take a closer look at in a second, but gutter maintenance is a very important part of your entire homes maintenance.

Without properly installed and functional gutters and downspouts, you can easily find yourself with roof damage or erosion problems in your yard. In many cases this can lead to leaky basements and other problems as well.

Gutter Maintenance
Keeping your rain gutters clean will prevent a lot of potential problems from ever happening. Even if you do not have trees around your home your gutters can still become clogged. Do you have asphalt shingles? If so, the rain slowly causes those tiny pebbles on your shingles to fall off and collect in the guttering.

Eventually these pebbles coming with other dirt and leaves to clog up the gutters. This is why washing out and cleaning your rain gutter is so important. Why? Because of settling.

Gutter Settling
When your gutters are filled with dirt and debris they become heavy, especially when filled with water. Over time this extra weight causes them to be pulled down and unable to drain properly.

Your guttering is sloped at slight angle toward your downspout. So, when that extra weight causes the gutter to sag, the angle is lost and the water simply collects in the channel. Eventually it pulls your guttering away from the roof and causes wood to rot.

How can you tell if your gutters have settled? Well you can watch the corners during the next rain, or you can spray a water hose onto the roof. Watch to see if the corners start leaking. If they do, your gutters are not draining correctly and they need looked at.

As you can see, rain gutter maintenance is important and just by cleaning them out on a regular basis can prevent most future problems from occurring.

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