Home Improvement Projects – PART II: Gutter Replacement
It’s important to have a good roof, but it’s perhaps equally important that you install a good gutter system on your home. Rainwater is a natural element that can wreak havoc on your home unless you properly install and maintain your rain gutters. Having a good gutter system installed helps ensure:
- The soil around the house is stabilized
- Foundation problems are avoided
- Flooding under the house and in the basement are prevented
- Erosion can be prevented, preserving the turf and your landscaping
- Water damage to siding and water staining on brick and stone masonry are prevented
- Less settling and cracking of sidewalks, patios, and driveways
- Preservation of exterior doors and garage overhead doors
Gutters bring the above benefits to homeowners simply by efficiently directing water away from the home.
If you suspect your gutters have been improperly installed or if they’ve rotted away or have sustained some sort of damage, it’s necessary to have them attended to as soon as possible. But how do you tell if your gutters and downspouts are in need of repair or replacement?
Well, it’s pretty obvious that you’ll need replacement if you’ve got sagging gutters or gutters pulling away from the house. Some less obvious signs are cracks or splits of any kind (these can quickly grow bigger, presenting more serious issues), peeling paint or flecks of orange (indicating the beginnings of rust), pooling water or signs of mildew (that indicate that water is not flowing away as freely as it should), water damage or water marks beneath the gutters (that indicate that leaking or overflowing water is escaping the gutter.) Overflowing water can damage your soffit and fascia board.
In recent years, homeowners have begun to discover the advantages that seamless gutters offer over the standard sectional gutters. Let’s take a quick look at what seamless gutters bring to the home:
Seamless gutters minimize leaks. Sectional gutters are more apt to allow water to escape the gutter system as the sealant on gutter seams wears away over time,
Seams also form ridges along the gutter that encourages debris to form and water to back up. Seamless gutters don’t present these problems. Even better, they are more pleasing to the eye: they offer a smoother uniform look because they’re made from a single sheet of metal. Apart from no to fewer leaks, less clogging, and better aesthetics, seamless gutters offer the added advantage of needing virtually no maintenance.
If you’ve already good seamless gutters installed, then another high-value exterior project may have more appeal. We tackle siding repair in Part III.