When you think of things that can go wrong on your roof, you don't think of gutters and downspouts. You think of shingles and roofing. But if your gutters and downspouts have a problem, and water is flowing and pooling where it shouldn't, you will notice them pretty quickly. They protect your house from water damage, like flooding, paint damage and damage to siding and the foundation of your home.
Because they are so important, you need to take regular, careful care of the gutters and downspouts on your house before the next rainstorm hits.
Gutters and downspouts are made from wood (rarely), vinyl, or metal, including aluminum, galvanized steel, stainless steel, and copper. The popular choice for people who want to install it themselves is vinyl. They come in sections, which you fit together. If you choose metal, a professional will most likely do it for you. Metal is the most popular type today - especially aluminum. They don't have seams, like vinyl, so they are less likely to leak.
The most common problems that occur with rain gutters are leaking, sagging, overflowing, and water pooling around the house. If these problems are ignored, serious damage to your house can occur. The good news is that almost anyone can fix gutter problems without the help of a professional.
If your gutters are leaking, look at the joints first. They are the most likely cause of the leak. Any water that is sitting in some gutters for a long time can cause rust, or seep through seams. Look for signs of standing water and sagging. Look for holes.
The gutters made with more flexible material can eventually sag when a lot of water flows down them. Water is heavy. Over time they will sag. If they overflow when it rains, either the gutters or the downspout are clogged, the gutters are sagging, or are not large enough to handle the amount of water they receive. Most of the time they are just clogged with leaves and debris.
Make sure that your downspout is not letting the water out right by your house. This will cause serious damage to the foundation. It is crucial that you direct it away from the house, so put on a diverter at the bottom of the spout. Downspouts can also break away from the gutter, or somewhere along the line.
You should clean your gutters at least twice a year. If there is a tree overhanging the house, more often than that. If your roof is higher than one story, consider getting a professional to do it because it could be dangerous. To clean them, scoop out debris, working away from the downspout. It's easier when it's damp. Then blast the gutter with a hose. Finally, blast the downspout with the hose, and if necessary use a plumber's auger to free debris. Do this and you will have effective gutters.
Leaves and debris in your gutters and downspouts will stop water flow. If you need help a roofing specialist will free the H2O. http://www.stlouisroofingpro.com
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