Guttering Protects Your Home, so Protect Your Guttering

Your house’s guttering is one of its most important protectors, probably only behind the roof.  Guttering collects all of the rain water from your roof and when properly maintained will move that water away from your house’s foundation.  This is very important because too much water near your foundation can cause severe damage to your house.  Water constantly seeping around your foundation can make it settle unevenly causing cracked drywall, uneven door jams, doors that won’t close and cracked foundations that cost thousands to fix.  The easiest way to protect your house is to have the correct guttering in working order.

Types Of Guttering

Guttering comes in several different types of materials; copper, plastic (PVC), iron and the most popular aluminum.  All guttering should be inspected every year to ensure that it has not been blocked by leaves or debris.  Hot and cold temperature cycles can slowly loosen the guttering away from the edge of your roof making the guttering useless.  To check for many of these problems requires working with a ladder which can be quite dangerous.  Only go up on a ladder if you follow all safety precautions and definitely use a spotter.  If you have any doubts, call a professional gutter cleaner.

Check for Guttering Problems

The easiest way to detect a gutter blockage is to check for areas where the water is fall out of the gutter.  Follow that area to the downspout and check to make sure if water is coming out.  If water is still flowing there probably is only a partial blockage.  In either case you will need to locate the blockage and use your hand or a gutter cleaning tool to remove the obstruction.  If the blockage is in the downspout, you can use a long straightened out wire hanger.  Place it down the downspout in the middle of the blockage.  Run water to the gutter using your garden hose while wiggling the hanger in a circular motion.  Most blockages should free fairly easily.  The water from the hose can make ladders slippery so be careful.

Another thing to check is that you have the proper extensions at the bottom of your downspouts.  Having the correct extensions will assure that the water gets away from you house.  Always make sure that they are properly secured and flow in a downhill direction.  Standing water can collect and invite some unpleasant visitors.  If the extensions become loose, water can leak back around your house.  My neighbor had the unlucky incident where the end of the extension fell into the window well of his basement.  Needless to say the next rain we had left him with an expensive nasty surprise.  So go check your guttering and protect your house.
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