Gutters. The Quiet Workhorse... or Ruinous Villain.
Hard to believe that some bent aluminum can help retain and protect the value of your home. Second only to your roof, it is a critical component in keeping water away from, and out of, your home.
The basic role of gutters is to channel water off your roof and away from your home. Away from your fascia boards, siding and your foundation. Neglect your gutter system and you run the very serious risk of water rot undermining your roofing, trim and siding... water entering your basement/foundation which could result in mold... pest problems and possible development of ice dams in winter.
Issues that Cause Gutter Problems
1. Debris (leaves, twigs etc) clogging gutters and downspouts.
2. Improper gutter pitch (the angle of the gutters... directs water to the downspouts).
3. Insufficient clearance between gutter and roofing material (the "gap for water to flow from the roofing shingles into the gutter... can be compromised by multiple layers of roofing/shingles).
4. Leaky/split seams (bad original joint or shifting of material).
5. Poor downspout drainage (clog in downspout/gutter joint, or obstruction in downspout exit or underground plumbing)
6. Misshapen gutters (usually from placing a ladder directly against gutters while cleaning).
Suggestions for "Better Gutter Health"
1. Keep your gutters and downspouts clear. Clean them, or have them cleaned, at least twice a year. Flush all gutters, downspouts and plumbing when gutters are cleaned.
2. Check the pitch of your gutters during a heavy rainstorm. If your gutters are clear and you see water "falling" over a spot or pooling at a non downspout end... you may have a pitch problem. Hire someone to assess and address.
3. If you have multiple roofing layers and the "gap" between roofing shingles and gutters is compromised you should have a professional reset your gutters. Consider moving to oversized gutters if/when you replace your roof (one of the best moves you can make).
4. If you have split seam or cracks, use a sealant from the hardware or home improvement store to address the cracks. Find one made specifically for gutters to minimize roughness inside the gutter... or have the seams professionally sealed.
5. Flush downspouts and underground plumping. If clogged, use a snake to clear the obstructions. Use baskets at the top of the downspouts, in the gutter, to prevent debris from entering the downspout and underground plumbing.
6. Never place your ladder against the gutter. Use ladder extensions that hold the ladder off the siding or the roof. It will save your gutters as well as provide you with a more stable work platform.
And, lastly, if you venture out to inspect or work on your gutters, versus hiring a professional... always have a spotter on the ground, ideally holding the ladder, keep two feet on the ladder... and never reach beyond the distance you are comfortable... easier and safer to move the ladder. Also, look for bee/hornet nests ... hit any nests with spray at dusk, the evening before.
I'm available to help you with your Real Estate buying and selling needs in Ridgefield, Redding, Wilton, Weston and Stamford, CT.