What Every New Homeowner Should Know About Gutters And Gutter Maintenance

People who are new to home ownership and who have always lived in apartment buildings may not understand the importance of gutters. Knowing what your gutters do and why they need to be maintained can help you take care of your new home.

Why does your home need gutters?

Gutters are an important part of your home's water drainage system. Rain that falls on the roof rolls off of the shingles and into the gutters. Water in the gutters is carried away from the house via downspouts that feed the water into the ground away from the home. Without gutters, water would drip from your roof into the ground around your foundation. This could cause the ground to become saturated, which could lead to basement leaks and could even cause foundation problems.

What happens if your gutters get clogged?

Gutters that become clogged will fill with water each time it rains. Problems that can occur as a result of clogged gutters includes:

  • Damaged gutters. The gutters may become warped and bent by the weight of the water.
  • Water damage. Water from the roof can backup into your home's attic and walls. In addition, water will form a waterfall over the sides of the gutters, leading to basement leaks and foundation problems.
  • Pest problems. Water will sit in the gutters, becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

What can you do to prevent your gutters from becoming backed up?

To prevent your gutters from becoming clogged, the best thing you can do is clean them regularly and protect them from falling debris. To clean the gutters, stand on a ladder overlooking the gutters. Use a trowel to scoop leaves and debris from the gutters into a bucket. When you're done, flush the gutters with a strong jet of water from a garden hose. If the water backs up while exiting the downspout, use a plumber's auger to remove any clogs from the downspout. Once this is done, flush the gutters again.

Clean the gutters twice per year—in the spring and fall—to prevent them from becoming clogged.

To protect the gutters from falling debris year-round, trim back any overhanging branches from nearby trees. Installation of gutter guards will protect your gutters from bird nests and debris like dead leaves and flower petals from nearby branches.

For more information about how you can protect your gutters and maintain your new house, contact a company like Conifer Gutter Service.