The residential gutters on your house play an important part in keeping your home in good condition. They direct rainwater away from the foundation, but if they're not maintained properly, they can become a nuisance or worse. Here's the good, the bad, and the ugly about residential gutters.
Gutters are part of a well-rounded home waterproofing strategy. In combination with a basement sump pump, an exterior membrane, and an interior sealant, gutters help keep your basement dry. In fact, gutters are essential for keeping your foundation in good shape because they channel water away from your home's foundation.
Without gutters, water would simply pour off your roof during a storm and head directly down to your vulnerable foundation. Over time, this can lead to cracking, heaving, and a host of other serious problems. The simple task of adding gutters and downspouts to your home can avoid these problems.
While gutters are good for your home, they can be bad for you. The main drawback to residential gutters is that they need to be regularly cleaned of debris that accumulates in them, including:
Depending on where you live, gutters should be cleaned regularly each year, typically in the fall after the leaves have fallen. Cleaning your gutters does not have to be 'the bad,' however. You can hire professional gutter cleaners or install gutter covers that keep the debris out of your gutters.
If you don't clean your gutters, the debris can pile up as the months get colder. In northern states, these clogged gutters then fill with ice and snow, creating an ice dam, which is when things get ugly.
Ice dams are a major cause of water damage to homes. When an ice dam forms, the water that melts off your roof becomes trapped behind the ice. This water has nowhere to go but under your shingles and back into your home. The resulting leaks can cause extensive damage to your ceiling, walls, and insulation. Experts state that ice dams cause millions of dollars in damage to homes each winter.
Gutters are essential to any home waterproofing strategy and can help keep your foundation in good shape. The bad news is that you have to clean residential gutters regularly. If you don't, you could end up with water damage to your home. If you need help installing or cleaning your gutters, please reach out to a local residential gutter installation company for assistance.