Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page
There is truth in what I have to say here. Gutters do not last forever, but you can extend its life by doing some things during the year.
Nobody seems to notice when the gutters on our homes are functioning correctly. During the heavy storms, tons of water comes racing down the roof and into the metal gutters and flows smoothly downstream into the downspout and away from the home. It’s a perfect system of water collection and placement. Over time, debris gets into the system. Leaves, sticks, dirt, maybe even a tennis ball, can all start to accumulate and ruin the perfect gutter / downspout physics. You can’t see it from the ground but a bunch of stuff can get into the mix. Once things stop working as it should, we have a problem. How can we prevent this from happening?
Five important things that the property owner can do to maintain a properly working gutter system.
- Check your gutters and downspouts regularly. Do this at least twice annually. Look to see if anything is building up in the gutters and the downspouts are clear. Check for signs of rusting of the metal.
- Clean the gutters at least once a year. Get a gutter scooper to clear out the leaves and dirt. If possible, wash out thoroughly. This will also verify a clear downspout.
- Repair any rusted or damaged areas. This will eliminate any leaks and restriction in the flow of water.
- Clear away overhanging trees limbs. Low hanging branches can crush and bend the gutters. Trees limbs overhanging the roof will also add the the amount of leaves stuck in the gutters.
- If necessary, replace the gutters. Gutters that do not function correctly will allow a lot of water to flow in places that can easily lead to much greater problems.
Doing these things may seem a little excessive, but it will benefit the property owner in the long run. It will add to the life of the gutters, eliminate problems during the rainy season, and keep the water flowing where it needs to go.
It’s hard to say when the most wood damage happens. Is it when the moisture is the greatest and everything is getting wet? Or is it in the spring when things are starting the dry up and new growth is beginning? Or maybe in the hot summer months when the dry rot has grown and fungus is visible on the wood. Not real sure of the answer myself, but I do know that if something isn’t done to correct it – it will get worse.
As a property owner, your best bet is to find out if you have a wood rot issue. It may be that you can get by with a good wire brush and quality paint job, if you can catch it early enough. Have someone who knows what to look for check it for you if you are not sure. Better to be informed than to ignore the problem. Most contractors that I know are willing to inspect such problems at no cost to you.
The important thing here is to correct any wood rot issues before it grows into a major problem. If you do have a wood rot problem several repair options may be available. The extent of the work can only be determined after thoroughly checking each individual property.