Gutters and Downspouts - 101

When it comes to your gutters, “out of sight, out of mind" can become a costly mistake.

A gutter system’s function is to catch all the water from the roof, and properly channel it down to the ground. At ground level, all water should be channeled away from the foundation of the house. Make sure that your gutter system is clear and functioning properly. If it is not, costly water damage to your home and your home’s foundation is eventually inevitable.

When a gutter gets clogged, or even partially clogged, water can’t make its way to the downspout. Instead, it spills out from the front and back of the gutter causing damage and deterioration to fascia, wood on the roof, as well as wood framing around doors and windows etc. This can also damages exterior walls, and can easily penetrate to interior walls causing mold and structural damage through cracks and openings around windows, doors and worn caulked joints.

In addition, compromised gutter flow, clogged downspouts and improper channeling of downspouts are also the root of basement water and foundation water problems. To avoid these problems, your gutters must remain free of debris year round.

It is a good idea to have your gutters and downspouts cleaned two times a year. Once in the Spring and once in late Fall. Homes where there are no large trees may be okay with less gutter maintenance, as long as everything is of course functioning properly. In turn, homes in heavily wooded areas will need more attention throughout the year.

Gutter screens and guard-like products are not a long term solution for keeping your gutters clean. Gutters with these installs eventually get clogged. The good news is that the cost of having your gutters properly cleaned when necessary is usually more cost effective than what these products can cost you.