After professional gutter installation, cleaning your gutters regularly is necessary to keep the protective system that consists of your roof, gutters, and downspouts properly functioning. Their goal is to prevent water from coming in from the top when the rain first falls, or at the foundation where rain can gather.
Why Cleaning Your Gutters is Important
Assuming that your gutters are working properly, which means that they are free of leaves, pine needles, and debris, they catch the water that runs off your roof and reroute it to the downspouts, which then carry it to the ground and away from the home. To ensure that gutters can do their job, annual cleaning is crucial. If you have an abundance of trees around your home, you may need more frequent inspection and cleaning of your gutters. Ignore gutter maintenance, and you could create serious water problems around your home.
While poor installation technique can lead to gutter failure, letting them fill up with debris from trees, dirt, leaves, and other matter can cause additional problems.
1. If they are packed with material, water can hit the packed surface and roll toward the side of the house rather than be directed toward the downspout.
2. If the downspout is not properly connected or if it is clogged, water can back up at the source of the clog.
3. Clogged gutters can let water pool on the roof and sink in to damage the wood under shingles.
4. In the wintertime, clogged gutters can set the stage for ice damming, where ice and snow build up along the gutters and melt beneath the shingles to cause water damage.
Proper Installation is a Must
If the gutters are not installed correctly, they may tend to clog easily or fail to do the job. Often they areinstalled when a new roof is put on, although they can be replaced at other times. Whether you rely on the contractor or attempt to do it yourself, installing gutters to work properly involves:
1. Choosing the right type of gutter. There are many widths and gauges of gutters for different homes, based on the size of shingles. The wrong type of gutters will not do the job and will set you up for future problems.
2. Calculating the pitch correctly. Gutters should have a slow sweep of 1 to 2″ for 40′ of gutter to make them angle toward the downspout. This slight angle will push debris in the right direction, but having the wrong (or no) slope will promote clogging.
3. Spacing the hangers correctly. Whether you use straps or other types of mounting systems, they should be space closely together to properly support the gutters and prevent water from making the gutters so heavy they pull away from the house
4. Improperly locating the gutter. Your gutter should be positioned a few inches under the first course of shingles and fitted with a drip edge so that water runs from the roof into the gutter rather than being absorbed under the shingles or behind the gutter, which aims it down the fascia board and siding to cause potential damage
5. Reducing seams. Over time gutters exhibit strain, especially at the seams which can experience leaks or breaks after exposure to the elements and heavy ice and rain.
Cleaning your gutters is an important maintenance step made easy after properinstallation. For a job done right and to reduce future problems, contact a local roofing company for professional installation and help cleaning your gutters