gutters on MA home

Types Of Gutters & How To Maintain Them

For many homeowners, gutters may seem like a relatively simple topic. While this is true to an extent, there are many factors that affect both the way a gutter works and how it stands up to the test of time. However, it remains undisputed that gutters play an essential part in keeping your home safe from water and the damages it can bring about if left unchecked. This is the main reason why choosing the right type of gutter is very important. If you find yourself at a loss, you can consult with a company about having gutters installed for your home. To give you an idea of what’s in store, here are a few of the most popular materials used for gutters:

Galvanized Steel:

This is one of the most popular types of material used in gutters. It is both affordable and durable. Galvanized steel is relatively inexpensive to manufacture and the only problem with steel is corrosion. However, this is easily remedied since galvanized steel is coated with zinc which prevents rust and corrosion.

Aluminum:

This is the most common type of material used for gutters because they are strong, yet light. In addition to this, aluminum is also naturally resistant to corrosion which means that they will last a long time. Many roofers prefer this type of material since it is easy to install.

Vinyl:

While it is a lot cheaper than the other options available, this type of material is not recommended by most roofing contractors for a good reason. It is durable. Continued exposure to sunlight can make vinyl very brittle which means they can break easily.

Copper:

While more expensive compared to steel and aluminum, copper gutters are a lot more durable. This means that you are making an investment that can last you for a very long time. Aside from that, copper gutters can be seen as somewhat of a status symbol since they are expensive and they look very aesthetically pleasing.

Maintaining Your Gutters

The roof is what makes our homes a safe refuge from all sorts of weather changes; and a functional roof needs an equally functional gutter to last as long as possible. When you are living in a coastal region roofing and gutters can become problem areas due to the extreme weather variations. As a result, gutters in these areas usually require closer attention and more frequent maintenance. The thing is, cleaning and repairing gutters actually take a lot of effort and sometimes quite a bit of costs too. Hence, to help you understand how to maintain and repair your gutter better here are some common gutter problems and their causes:

Faulty repair practices – Sometimes, although the intention is to actually fix and clean the gutter, a homeowner becomes blindsided of the fact that s/he may actually be causing more damage than repairs. In these areas cleaning gutters can be an issue with brittle or old gutters. A ladder leaning on a gutter for example, can cause some damages that we usually just ignore. It is best not to use ladders that go as high as the gutter. Use professional ladders that can be adjusted to custom heights. You only need to be high enough to see the inside of the gutter and be able to remove any stuck debris.

Debris accumulation – Accumulated debris like leaves, branches, and mulch are the most common cause of gutter damage. Once this debris gets to the downspout, it will get clogged and water will eventually amass in the gutter itself. Once there is too much water for the gutter to hold, either it could break or water could seep into the roof and cause water leaks and damages to the ceiling. Regularly checking the gutter for accumulated debris may seem simple, but this actually helps you prevent some serious damages.

Pest infestation – We all know how destructive small insects like termites and ants can be to the house. The thing most homeowners fail to understand is that dirty gutters actually make their homes a habitable place for these insects to populate in. Gutters clogged with dirt, mulch and leaves can be a very beneficial space for these insects to thrive. And before you know it, these ants and termites may already be munching your walls and columns away.

Gutters understandably require closer attention and more regular upkeep. You can no longer underestimate the simple task of cleaning gutters. Especially if you are living in coastal areas you need to take this task seriously to avoid more serious damages to the home. These tips are a great way to start learning how gutters work and how to address these particular issues based on their causes.

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