When ASAP ROOFING inspects a homeowner’s roof, one of their primary concerns is water damage — and not just damage to the actual roof, but also the home’s foundation. But a leaky roof isn’t the only thing that can lead to moisture causing the home’s foundation to deteriorate. Gutters, which are designed to channel water away from the foundation are imperative to protecting the structural integrity of your house.
More often than not, if the roof has leaks, the gutters also become overstressed and damaged, resulting in clogs, holes and sagging. According to Jason Stutzman, director of home maintenance and repair for Brothers Redevelopment in Denver, “Gutters are one of those things where routine maintenance and inspecting them can really prevent bigger problems down the road.”
So let’s take a look at the gutter problems that the specialists at ASAP ROOFING see most often, and just how they can be fixed.
Gutters can clog very easily, which makes this the most common problem. Factors such as frequency of storms, proximity of trees, and wind residue can all lead to gutters that will sag and pull away from the roof.
Most homeowners can clean their own gutters quite easily, with the use of a ladder, scraping brush and garden hose. Once the gutters are flushed clean, this process should be repeated yearly.
If your gutters tend to clog more frequently than once a year, a great option to consider is gutter covers. These mesh screens, clip-on grates, and porous foam will help prevent accumulation of sediment in the gutters and the need for more frequent cleaning.
Sagging gutters and disconnected gutters
Hangers for roof gutters are important to support the weight of the gutter and should be spaced 24-32 inches apart. Spaced further than this and the fasteners can begin to pull away from the fascia of the home. Luckily, hangers are relatively inexpensive and generally cost $10 or less apiece, while the fasteners run about $1 each.
old leaking guters
Gutters with leaks and holes
One of the simplest and least expensive gutter repairs, sealing leaky gutter joints can be accomplished by caulking the joint from the inside with a $5 tube of gutter sealant. Larger holes, on the other hand, will require a gutter patching kit at the hardware store, or a patch made from metal flashing.
Improperly pitched gutters
The purpose of pitching a gutter is to facilitate water flow toward the downspout. If you have standing water and your gutter is not clogged, it’s possible that your gutter is improperly pitched. Gutters should be pitched, or slanted 1/16 of an inch per foot.
To correct improper pitch, connect a chalk line between the peak and the downspout. You may notice that due to the shifting of your home’s foundation (which can be related to numerous factors) there may be spots where your gutter deviates from the downward pitch toward the downspout. Sometimes this problem can be fixed by bending the hanger and lowering the gutter. If this does not resolve the problem, you gutter can always be rehung to correct the pitch.
Downspouts draining too close to the foundation
Downspouts should extend at least 5 feet from the home, and more in cases where the ground slopes toward the home’s foundation. Gutter extensions — which will prevent this problem — attached to the bottom of the downspout are inexpensive and easy to install.
Missing gutters obviously expose your home to significant water damage. Gutters that function properly are also often required by your homeowner’s insurance policy as an important preventative measure. There are numerous types of gutters that can be installed, including four-inch and five-inch.
As always, ASAP ROOFING is committed to helping you find the best solutions for your home, including roofing, siding, insulation, and yes gutters. We are happy to help you repair your existing gutters, or replace the gutter system entirely — just visit us at www.asaproofing.com
Written by Nick Dorotik
For more information about ASAP ROOFING, visit http://asaproofing.com/