Gutters are one the homes most neglected accessories, but one of the cheapest defenses against water damage, mold, mildew and problems with a home’s foundation. When gutters are not well maintained, however, rainwater and debris can collect on your roof. If the situation is not remedied quickly, water can seep through roofing materials and cause major water damage.
Consider the following regarding your home’s gutters:
- Keep your gutters clean and in good condition, especially during the fall when trees dump their leaves.
- Make sure the water coming out of the gutter is directed in an appropriate location, at least five feet away from the home. Consider using a rain barrel to collect the water so you can use it later for your lawn and garden.
- Add gutter protection if your area has heavy foliage. Keep in mind, however, that some gutter guards do more harm than good when it comes to those made from inferior materials.
- The type of gutter material you should choose depends on your preferences and budget. Aluminum is one of the most popular gutter materials, which comes in several pre-painted colors. Vinyl gutters are inexpensive, but tend to expand and contract with climate changes. Steel is a good material, but tends to rust. Copper looks gorgeous on some homes, but is expensive to install.
- Clean your gutters at least twice a year. As you clean your gutters, look for problems such as areas that need resealing or the hinges tightened.
- Make sure your gutter is at least 5- to 6-inches wide and is appropriate for the type of roof you have.
What is the condition of your gutters? If you do not know, make the effort to find out soon, before seasonal foliage begins to fall.