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Getting the Most From Your Gutters

Gutter HelmetAre your gutters effectively protecting your home? A good rain collection system on your home’s exterior will provide a number of benefits, save you money and can be helpful to the environment. Here are some ways a well-installed gutter system will reward the prudent homeowner.
Keeping Up Appearances: Quality gutters will not only keep your yard from flooding during frequent summer storms, but can also enhance the curb appeal and value of your home. Custom-cut, seamless gutters in a complementary or contrasting color add a clean finish to your home’s exterior and will provide valuable protection from watermarks and stains on siding materials.
Practical Protection: Gutters collect the water at the edge of your roof and carry it sideways, while downspouts and drain systems will direct the water away from the perimeter of the home. Without this protection, pooling water can collect around the foundation of the home and cause moisture, mold and erosion problems. Splash back and fast-running water will erode anything it comes into contact with, including exterior surfaces such as wood, stucco and paint, as well as soil and foundation materials supporting your home. Loss of siding materials and structural erosion can lead to pervasive water intrusion and create the potential for structural cracking, wood rot, mold, infestation and other costly problems.
Going Green: When installing your new gutters, consider durable materials like aluminum or copper. Long-lasting gutters will minimize the environmental cost of the product’s life cycle from manufacturing to recycling. Immediate savings on materials that employ greener production processes aren’t necessarily better if they don’t last. You can even go a step further and install a rooftop catchment system that channels rainwater through gutters and downspouts to a cistern or rain barrels. Repurposed rainwater is great for watering your non-edible plants and landscaping.
So how do you know if it is time to replace your gutters? If your gutters have been damaged by falling debris or are aged and corroded, or when rainwater pools and dumps off the sides rather than traveling to intended exits or downspouts, then it is probably time. Only capable DIY-ers educated in ladder safety should climb on the roof to inspect gutters; most household accidents are associated with ladders. A trustworthy roofing contractor or gutter specialist will usually provide a free inspection that can determine if new gutters are necessary.
Regular cleaning is key to maintaining your gutters for peak performance. Leaves, sticks and other debris can accumulate and prevent proper water flow. This is the season to ensure your gutters are clear and ready for optimal performance during heavy summer storms. Regular cleaning after falling autumn leaves is also wise. Homeowners with many trees will find it necessary to clean their gutters more often.
Many Florida homes do not even have gutters due to trees and heavy rains that demand regular cleaning. But these same elements can cause erosion and major home damage without proper gutter protection. A good way to minimize cleaning is to add gutter covers. There are many types of gutter covers but not all of them work. Rather than screening, which can allow debris to fall through into gutters, consider a solid aluminum panel. This specially-designed solid cover goes over the top of the gutter, curves back and extends into the gutter so leaves and debris continue over the top. Covers can be pricey, but they offer important gutter protection and save you from frequent cleaning.
Preventing water intrusion now can save you major expenses later. Scheduling a reputable contractor or roofer to perform a full exterior inspection will make sure you are getting the most from your gutters.
See our June Gutter Special and call us now for a free gutter evaluation! & Read this and more interesting articles at Lake Mary Healthy Living Magazine.
Listen to “In the House with Ken & Jared” on WDBO’s News Talk FM96.5, and get more home tips and radio show info at the In the House Show website. For a free inspection and free estimate for your next Roof Repair, Roof Replacement, Siding or Home Improvement project,contact us or call now: 407-295-7403