Do You Have Water Damage? Check Your Gutters!

Water. Essential for our own good health… but also our homes’ worst enemy. Water, in the wrong place, can be incredibly destructive. Therefore, your number one priority as a homeowner is to keep water where it belongs.

After a few days of steady rain, when spring snow-melt occurs or during an extreme rainfall event, the soil around your home can become saturated with water. Steady snow-melt and precipitation can also raise the ground water level to a point where it is higher than your basement floor.

Homeowners can find themselves needed water damage repairs for a variety of reasons. However, one cause of water damage to homes that is often overlooked is rain gutters. When in clean, working condition, rain gutters play an important role in protecting homes from significant water damage as they point downpour away from a house.

Prevent Water Damage

On the other hand, if they’re not properly maintained, rain gutters can backfire and cause rainwater to damage a home’s siding, flood basements, and result in foundational problems. 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.

A properly designed and maintained gutter system will carry water far away from your foundation. If your once dry basement becomes wet, suspect gutter problems first.

Even though rain gutters are beneficial in preventing water damage, they can’t do it alone. It is essential that homeowners do their part to ensure that they not only keep an eye on their gutters, but know which one is appropriate for their home.

Here are some important things to keep in mind when working with your gutters, to prevent water damage.

  • Keeping it clean. Generally, to prevent water damage clean up, it is important to clean the rain gutters on a home once during the fall and once during the spring. However, homes that are located in more wooded areas may have to clean their gutters more frequently.
  • Keeping your guard up. Because cleaning rain gutters can be a really nasty chore (especially if you live in an area that gets a significant amount of precipitation), investing in gutter covers can help lessen your load. Fitting snugly over the gutter, the guards prevent them from being filled with debris. But, it is important to keep in mind that even gutters protected by guards still need to be cleaned from time-to-time.  To make the process easier on yourself, choose a gutter guard that allows easy access.
  • Your gutter may be durable, but won’t last forever. Even though most rain gutters have a lengthy life-span, they won’t last forever. While gutters that are damaged or rusting away likely need to be replaced, most minor repairs can often be easily fixed with caulk or other sealing materials.
  • Know which type of rain gutter is right for you. If replacing your gutters is necessary, you generally have two options: sectional and seamless. Sectional gutters are prone to leaks at the seams of the connectors, while seamless gutters are much less likely to break down.
  • What material should my gutter be made of? Most commonly, rain gutters are made out of steel, aluminum, and vinyl. In the past, steel gutters were the popular choice, but have since fallen behind because of its tendency to rust. For those with budget in mind, vinyl gutters are cheaper than the rest. However, in warmer weather vinyl rain gutters can easily leak. Today, aluminum gutters are still popular because they are not only seamless, but easy to install and durable.
  • How thick of a gutter is appropriate for my home? Rain gutters vary in size by home and region. Gutters on homes that are frequently subjected to harsh weather conditions (ice, snow, etc.) may need to have a thicker rain gutter. Even though the thinner gutters may be cheaper, they aren’t as durable and may lose their original shape over time.
  • Make sure your gutter is down and out. Downspouts play a crucial role in preventing water damage and restoration projects in your home. It is important that downspouts are always pointing away from the home’s foundation and that they are cleared of debris that can back up in the gutter. Make sure that your home’s downspouts water channel is at least two feet away from the house. If you need more distance, consider installing downspout extenders.

Being aware of these various factors will not only help a homeowner choose the right gutter for their home, but also prevent water damage clean up in their home. Taking preemptive action to prevent water damage before it happens is one of the best ways of saving you the hassle of making repairs later. If the water damage repairs are too severe to handle alone, it is essential to contact an experienced Minnesota gutter installation company in your area.