What’s all the fuss about home gutters? Have you ever wondered why your home needs gutters? Time to review the purpose of gutters and why they are so important to maintaining a healthy home!
There’s one simple reason that homes need gutters: Water. Water can do a lot of damage to a foundation, landscape plants, and other parts of your home. Home gutters offer the best possible protection against water collecting around your home, running down the exterior walls, or staying on your roof to cause rot, algae, or mold.
The concept of gutters on structures came about centuries ago. The Romans have been credited with developing water management systems for their cities as well as for structures. The word gutter is derived from the Latin word, gutta, which means droplet. Gutter systems have come a long way from the wood, cast iron, and lead structures of the past. Today’s gutters have evolved into lightweight prepainted aluminum systems that can be extruded to the exact length and shape needed on site.
Water’s Destructive Power
Water has a destructive power that homebuilders and homeowners strive to control. Gutter systems are one of the main ways to control water coming down on the home.
Just think about what a flooding river can do to the surrounding riverbanks and properties. It can tear up grass, carve out the soil from under trees and even move buildings off of their foundations. Although these examples are extreme, it’s clear that water is clearly a threat to your house, and it needs to be managed.
Poorly managed or uncontrolled water coming off of your roof can leak into window frames, behind siding, and so on, causing a moisture problem that can turn into mold. Mold can form on any surface when it stays damp and at the right temperature for mold to grow. Unfortunately, Georgia’s climate provides a good environment for mold to form with moderate temperatures and high humidity, so it’s very important to keep an eye out for damp areas in your home, attic, and basement. You could end up with mold in your insulation, on the inside of your walls, and in other places.
Not only can damp wood or drywall cause a hazard to your health, but wet wood eventually attracts insects. Termites and ants love wet wood because it is easier for them to process and chew. They can really do some damage when they find their ideal food—damp and rotting wood! The longer it has been damp, the better for insects.
Home Gutters Protect Your Foundation
Foundations can also be damaged by uncontrolled water runoff, and basements can be flooded, too. Heavy precipitation that occurs here as a result of hurricanes or powerful thunderstorms can dump several inches of rain on the area. If you don’t have gutters that work properly, that rain shoots off your roof and onto the ground right next to your house. It can cause puddles, pooling, and rivers of runoff that can cut into the soil around your home, or worse yet — it can pool next to structures and go over the top of your foundation, flooding your basement or crawl space. Downspouts help direct water down and away from your house and its foundation.
Ice can be even more insidious in how it can affect a home. Remember that the freeze and thaw cycle expands and contracts the ice, so if there is moisture remaining in a crevice or valley on your roof, imagine how it can creep under shingles and into cracks over the coldest weeks of the year. The expansion of even a small amount of water at freezing can eventually open up a larger area that could turn into a leak. Ice dams have been known to damage roof shingles as well as gutter systems.
Gutters Keep Your Home Dry
To combat the enemy of your home’s health and structural integrity, you want to move water away from your home to keep it dry. Properly installed roofs and gutters help maintain a home that is free of leaks and unwanted moisture. Gutters channel the rain and snowmelt off of the roof and the downspouts take it down and away from the foundation of your house. Snow or ice on the roof melts and trickles down and away from the house through the gutter system.
Taking gutters a step further, gutter covers allow rain to go through while preventing organic matter and other debris from getting into the gutters. They prevent the buildup of gunk to keep gutters functioning maintenance-free for years instead of requiring an annual cleaning.
One of the best and most important things you can do to maintain your home is to keep your home gutters in top working order. When they function properly, you can rest easy knowing you’ve done everything you can to protect your home from nature’s wrath. For further reassurance, contact us anytime for a free, no-obligation quote on gutter cleaning or replacement.