If you neglect your home’s gutters, you could end up having all sorts of problems on your hands over the next few months. Snow, ice, rain, and all sorts of debris can pile up and clog your gutters, causing structural damage, basement flooding, and all kinds of other expensive issues.
Although keeping your gutters clean and properly maintained is essential, so is having them properly installed. If your gutters aren’t properly installed, you’re going to experience many more gutter-related problems.
Here are some gutter installation planning tips to keep in mind in order to avoid costly and damaging issues down the line:
- Inspect your roof — When you have to have new gutters installed on your home, you need to inspect every inch of your roof to ensure that there is nothing wrong. Take a look at the soffit and fascia for signs of rotted wood. If you do notice any rotted wood, you’ll have to have it replaced before new rain gutters are installed.
- Locate all the downspouts — To increase the capacity of your new gutter system, you should add more downspouts. Take a look around your house and identify where all the downspouts could be placed. Drawing a sketch of your home or roof will allow you to identify where the best spot for unobstructed downspouts. You’ll need one downspout for about every 30 to 40 linear feet of gutter. Additionally, it’s recommended to place downspouts in inconspicuous locations.
- Hire gutter cleaning technicians — Professional gutter cleaners aren’t just knowledgeable about gutter cleaning, but installation and maintenance tasks, as well. Since cutting, joining, and hanging gutter sections can be extremely difficult, it’s important to work with professionals who are experienced in gutter installation. Also, you likely won’t have all the required tools and materials necessary for installing a new gutter on your home. Though you most likely have a cordless drill and an extension ladder, you’ll still need a crimper, gutter flashing, gutter sealant, elbows, self-tapping hex head acres, rivets, gutter hanging strap, and other items — professional gutter services will have everything needed for this project.
If you’re looking for skilled local gutter installers and want to work with professional gutter installation services, give Gutter Maid a call today.
See our previous post here about pipe collars and their functions.
Below is an infographic showing our pipe collar repair process. When we complete gutter cleanings for our customers, we always check the condition of each pipe collar. If a pipe collar is damaged we can generally repair it right there on the spot for a minimal cost to the homeowner. This is because we carry replacement rubber gaskets on all of our trucks. By replacing the damaged part of the pipe collar only, we are able to complete the repair quickly and easily, preventing costly water damage while also saving the customer money.
Have you ever wondered what the pipes extruding through the top of your roof were? In most cases they are plumbing vents. They typically range in size from about 2″- 4″, and are sealed water tight with a pipe collar or boot. The most common flashing consist of an aluminum base with a rubber gasket that seals tightly around the vent. Unfortunately, while the aluminum base will last a lifetime, the rubber gasket has a much shorter lifespan, and can crack and deteriorate in just a few short years. Cracked or damaged pipe collars will leak water into your attic, and cause mold & mildew to grow, and If left alone long enough, can cause even more signification water damage.
When we complete gutter cleanings for our customers, we always check the condition of each pipe collar. If a pipe collar is damaged, we can generally repair it right there on the spot for a minimal cost to the homeowner. This is because we carry replacement rubber gaskets on all of our trucks. By replacing the damaged part of the pipe collar only, we are able to complete the repair quickly and easily, preventing costly water damage while also saving the customer money.
Damaged Pipe Collar
Repaired Pipe Collar
It seems as though winter has come early this year with the recent snow events, and while everyone is busy stocking up on food, new snow shovels, and ice melt, they may have overlooked a very important home maintenance need. You guessed it. Cleaning out the gutters!
Clogged gutters will wreck havoc on your home in the winter time. As the snow from your roof melts, it should drain through your gutter system and away from your home and foundation. When your gutters and/or downspouts are clogged with debris, the water becomes trapped and has no place to go. This standing water is not quick to evaporate like it is on a hot summer day. Gutters are not meant to withstand the heavy weight of debris, water, and ice buildup. The weight can cause your gutters to pull away from your home, bend, distort, and in some cases completely separate from your home.
Most of us have heard of the term “ice damming” but how many of us truly know what it means? Ice damming happens when the warm air from your home melts the bottom layer of the snow build-up on your roof. In below freezing temperatures, once the water reaches your gutters where it is no longer heated, it will re-freeze. As ice builds up to your roof line it will eventually trap and prevent proper water-shed from your roof. Water will then begin to work its way back up your roof .
When water is coming from the bottom up, as it does with ice damming, most waterproofing practices will fail. This is why many of us have experienced leaking during the winter that we do not usually encounter during a typical rain event. If your gutters are not draining properly, ice damming is significantly more likely to occur.
Gutters cannot be cleaned once the temperature drops below freezing. It is vital to have your gutters and downspouts checked and cleared before the winter months arrive. There are only a few more weeks left so don’t procrastinate. Schedule your gutter cleaning service today!
Drip edge is an L shaped piece of metal that is installed at the edge (eave) of your roof. It should extend from the roof decking down into your gutters. Its purpose is to direct water away from your fascia and rake boards, and into your gutters where applicable. It can also help prevent water damage due to ice damming during the winter months.
Unfortunately, roofs are often installed without a drip edge or the gutters are installed over top of the drip edge, rendering it useless. Water that finds its way behind your gutters will eventually damage your fascia, rafter ends, soffit, etc., and can lead to thousands of dollars in damages.
Does your roof have a properly installed drip edge? There are signs that may indicate missing or improperly installed drip edge that you can look for without having to go up on your roof. When it rains, look for water that comes down in-between your gutters and your fascia. Often times you will see streaking or staining on your fascia just below your gutters, and sometimes you can even see small debris that has worked its way behind your gutters. If you see any of these signs, we recommend that you call a roofer to evaluate your roof and give you an estimate to install a drip edge if needed. Ask to see pictures so you can get a full understanding of whats going on with your roof.
Catching an issue early such as this will save you a lot of money in the long run. GutterMaid trains our employees to look for these types of issues and report back any noted problems as a courtesy to our customers.