How to Properly Inspect Your Gutters
Rain gutters carry an appearance of simple design. The appearance of simplicity is one reason why homeowners usually pay little attention to them. They pick installation contractors without much thought, and accept whatever product they may bring to them. Once the gutter system is in place, they rarely take it seriously enough to clean it on a regular basis, or to inspect it to ensure good working order. In reality, however, rain gutters are anything but simple. These installations tend to be unforgiving of poor design and installation method, or neglect.
If you’ve never paid attention to your rain gutters, you should start now. Knowing your gutters better can save you considerable trouble in the future.
Getting through an inspection
The best way to understand the complexity of rain gutter systems is to actually get up there to take a look. A basic inspection can help greatly in letting you recognize areas of shortcoming t. Here are tips on areas to check out.
- Does your guttering have a downspout every 20 feet? If not, there could be overflows during heavy downpours.
- Stop up a downspout, put a garden hose into the rain gutter, and have the downspout fill up. When it backs up into the rain gutter, does the rain gutter overflow all along its run, or does it only overflow where there is a downspout? If it overflows anywhere else, it means there is sag.
- When you drain the rain gutter, are there any puddles of water left? If you see any, it’s an effect called “oil canning.” It can allow shingle acid from the roof to stagnate in the puddles, and corrode the metal.
- Is the front lip of the gutters perfectly horizontal, or does it dip? If there is dip, the spikes could be working themselves loose.
- If the gutter is flush against the wall of your home, is there flashing protecting the wall? If not, you could see water damage before long.
- Do you see valley controllers on every gutter corner joint to prevent water overshoot?
These are only a few of the different ways in which vendors of low-priced rain gutters shortchange their customers. Far too many contractors have come up short when it comes to competent rain gutter installation. The result is that your home receives water damage. It’s completely preventable if you choose the right product.
Choosing a modern option
Manufacturers such as Leafguard of Michigan specialize in premium gutter system products that come with far fewer of the challenges inherent in the installation of conventional gutter systems. Since these are seamless models, oil canning and sag are far less possible, for instance. With professional installation, the mistakes involved in the installation of conventional products do not appear, either. There is also the major benefit of the clog-free design that these designs come with.
Often, homeowners merely put up with poor quality rain gutters because they do not notice the damage that they cause before it’s too late. A simple inspection is an excellent way to prevent such trouble.