Minnetonka Minnesota Gutters and Downspouts

Just like the roof or siding of a house, a working gutter system is an important component to your home’s exterior. Gutters are put into place to collect and direct the flow of rain water away from a structure, which helps to protect against the possibilities of water damage or flooding. Homeowners should be aware of the condition of their gutters to ensure they last.

On the average sized roof, an inch of rain amounts to over 1,500 gallons of water. It has to go somewhere, and gutters have to take it there.  Check to make sure your home’s gutter system is working at it’s full potential.  Make sure all connections have water tight fittings. Properly working rain gutter systems will divert a lot of potential wet basement problems, away from your home.

Understanding Your Gutter System

A gutter system’s effectiveness begins with the quality of installation. Gutters are suppose to be installed at a slight slope that channels water towards the downspout, but many systems to not meet this basic requirement. The system should be attached firmly to the side of the structure, usually to the fascia, or the horizontal board between the top exterior wall and eaves of the home.

It is also important to ensure that gutters are not cracked, leaking, or have come apart at the connecting seams. This is true for the downspout as well, which should be securely attached to the side of the home or building. The downspout should direct water away from the foundation of a structure. If your rain gutters and downspouts are working properly they will prevent roof and fascia board damage as well as prevent water damage and basement flooding by re-routing water a safe distance away from your foundation.

Gutters can be damaged during storms or heavy wind. In colder climates, snow and ice can also tear gutters away from the sides of homes. Be sure to keep an eye on your home’s gutter system during the winter months. Add a basic gutter inspection to your annual home maintenance routine. Identifying problem areas early can help save you money later.

Clogged Gutters Are Like Having No Gutters At All!

While the proper installment of gutters might be something most homeowners leave to the professionals, it is important to keep up on the maintenance of your home’s gutter system. It’s advised to clean gutters once or twice a year – whether you do it yourself or hire a professional.

Keeping gutters clean and unclogged is the number one thing to remember. Clogged gutters are useless – it’s as simple as that. It’s like having no gutters at all!  It is easy for leaves, moss, twigs and other debris to be swept off the roof and into the gutters and downspouts. Blockages lead to overflowing, which leads to a variety of problems for you and your home.

Dirty, clogged gutters can cause TWICE AS MUCH DAMAGE AS NO GUTTERS AT ALL–that’s why you need a gutter protector system that works!

An overflowing gutter can cause numerous problems for you and your home. Since clogged gutters are useless for channeling water off and away from your roof, leaks and moisture damage are more likely to occur. Overflowing water can be pushed upwards and underneath lower shingles on the roof, soaking through to the roof’s sub-layers. Exterior walls are also at risk, since the gushing water can deteriorate siding and peel paint. If a clogged gutter is preventing the flow of water, it can add too much weight and pressure, causing the gutter to bend or even tear away from the structure. In the dryer months, standing water in a gutter can become stagnant – creating a prime breeding ground for insects such as mosquitoes.

Also be aware of bent or disconnected downspouts. Since this is the primary route for redirecting water away from your home, it’s necessary for the downspout to function correctly. Just as it’s important for gutters to stay free of debris, downspouts and drains also need to be maintained. A plugged drain can result in pooling water around the foundation or base of your home. Keep an eye out for fan-like patterns appearing in the dirt or mud around a downspout, which can a sign of clogging that can be visible even during dry months. Homeowners might also notice the pattern appearing on the side of the home near the downspout, the result of pooling water and splattering.

If properly maintained and cared for, a home’s gutter system will serve as an important tool in protecting your home against the elements. Be diligent when it comes to repairs and cleaning. Just like any other part of your home – routine inspection can help stop problems before they start. You can also install gutter guards to stop this build-up and avoid this chore all together.

You also want to consider the installation company.  Ask them about their warranties.  An excellent warranty can often become a tipping point in the home selling process.  It can help assure prospective buyers that your home has been well maintained and cared for.  Make sure they are reputable by asking for references and checking with your local BBB.

There are a number of other good reasons to consider a gutter protection system.

The most important is the safety of your loved ones. Each year, over 175 thousand people fall from ladders and around 350 of those falls are fatal.

Often times those falls occur while someone is on a ladder cleaning debris from a gutter. And as we mentioned before, clogged gutters can cause thousands of dollars in damages to your home from rotting fascia boards, landscape erosion and foundation repair, not to mention the convenience of not having to clean your gutters, giving you extra free time to do the things you like to do. And finally, a quality gutter protection system can add value to your home, making your home more desirable when it comes time to sell.