Gutters might be one of the things you think about the least in your home, but it’s one of the most important aspects of a complete exterior system. Finding the right type of gutter system, be it vinyl or aluminum, to fit your homes’ needs as well as maintaining it might not be at the forefront of your project list but it is a necessity.

Gutters direct water from your roof. When they fail, the water has no place to go, which can lead to structural damage and can even cause leaks inside your home. Gutters also help keep water away from walkways, and patios-nobody wants to get drenched walking out to the driveway!  They also protect decks and doors from excessive water damage, and divert water away from the foundation to prevent sinking and cracking. Needless to say, without the proper system installed, your foundation, your roof and your basement can sustain damages.

A properly installed gutter system will include seamless gutters on every sloped roof edge to prevent any leakage. Gutters should not leak or hold standing water, be securely attached to the fascias, and should have downspouts that are firmly fastened to the exterior of the house.

Lastly, downspouts should not end close to the foundation. This is a common mistake that installers and homeowners make. What’s the use of having a complete gutter system that dumps all the water from the roof at the side of the foundation? A minimum of three-foot diversion away from the foundation is ideal to dispose of the excess water. In many cases a section of flexible plastic diversion piping can be used, or an elbow can be attached at the end of the downspout. It’s important to note that the concrete diverters that are often seen under downspout elbows are not adequate for water control.

If the gutters are not properly installed or maintained, you will be faced with costly repairs.  Who wants that? Once installed, you can rest assured that this defense system will be hard at work come a rainstorm.

Stay tuned for part 2 explaining our simple maintenance tips.