Most homeowners know the importance of maintaining their home. When it comes to your roof, if you see a missing shingle, you know to get it replaced as soon as possible.
When it comes to gutters, people are less concerned. Many homeowners overlook and even neglect their gutters despite gutters being an integral part of the roof. Don’t forget they are the silent protectors of your roof, walls, and foundation.
If not installed and maintained correctly, damage to your home from gutters that are not directing the flow of water correctly can add up quickly. It can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in home repairs should a gutter not deflect or carry water as it should. The most common issues with gutters is related to water damage, but clogged gutters can also become home to things like bugs, rodents, and mold.
Gutter Installation should you go DIY or Professional?
Gutters are relatively simple things. It’s a half-tube shape made out of aluminum that hangs around the edge of the roof and sends rainwater down the drain, right? In reality, there is a lot more to the installation of gutters than what meets the eye so you’ll need to assess your own DIY skills if that’s your plan.
First, you need to choose the right materials and know the right size you need for your roof. Having the wrong materials and size can create years of expensive repair and maintenance work because they won’t be able to do the job they are designed too.
Next, you need to know the pitch of your roof and your gutters. Pitch is the angle of slope, and knowing it can make all the difference. If the pitch is too low for your roof, water and debris will sit in the gutter unable to move. This can lead to water in the walls and worse, flooding when it rains. If the pitch is too high, there will be a gap between the edge of the roof and gutters, which leads to flooding and water damage.
Many people think gutters run along the edge of the roof, but actually, they are set back a bit underneath it. This is done because water dripping down the roof will be pulled to the underside of the roof, and drip out and a gutter needs to catch that. So proper placement is key.
Don’t forget to evaluate things like seams, spacing, and type of mounting system you should use too. All of these things work together to both support and administer the flow of water correctly and consistently.
Safety Should Come First
There are more to gutter maintenance than just climbing a ladder and scooping out what’s left behind. Climbing a ladder is not always so simple! Did you know in 2009, more than 240,000 Americans went to hospital emergency rooms after falling from ladders, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission? Many of these incidents happened when homeowners placed the ladder on soft or unlevel ground, or worst rested the ladder against the gutters themselves, causing them to collapse under the weight. So if you choose to install your own gutters know that you’ll need not only the right kind of ladder but someone to assist you in holding the ladder so that it stays secure and possible a third person to hand you materials.
Properly installed gutters and consistent gutter maintenance are a must when it comes to maintaining the appearance, and value of your home. Sadly even a small mistake can end up costing tens of thousands of dollars. This is why in most cases, it’s smart to have them done professionally.