High above on their lofty perch, your home’s gutters are busy protecting your home from the threat above: water.
Diverting water around your home is a big job, which your gutters do steadfastly and quietly. It’s easy to forget they’re even there. If you’re a new homeowner in Greenville, SC, or just looking to learn more about one of your home’s top defense systems against the elements, this article is for you.
What Gutters Do
Gutters do more than keep you dry as you step off the porch, and while that’s certainly a nice perk, it’s not all they do. The purpose of gutters is to divert water away from your house. While this may not sound like much, it’s an important safeguard for your home.
How Gutters Protect Your Home
Your gutter system collects rainwater and channels it through the gutters to the ground, where it spills out of a downspout. Easy enough. Here’s how this simple system is actually a major boon to your property:
They Prevent Erosion
Gutters prevent rainwater from spilling down your roof and onto your yard. It may seem counterintuitive to think about water being detrimental to your yard, but water pounding down in droves off your roof and battering the soil is problematic.
Waterfalls can erode and reshape earth and stone, and that’s what’s happening outside your home on a smaller scale. Eventually, the soil gives way, and small water pathways form through your lawn and possibly even your neighbor’s lawns. These pathways slice indiscriminately, destroying not just your grass but also flower beds and any other plant life that stands in its way.
They Help Keep Bugs Away
The pathways will eventually grow into wider channels, forming small ditches and holes where water may pool. Stagnant water is appealing to specific bugs such as mosquitoes and termites.
Termites will follow the water source into your roof and siding, causing decay. The best way to keep these uninvited guests from making a meal of your home’s building materials is to keep it dry.
They Prevent Siding Decay
Water splashing from the ground back up against your home’s siding is a big problem. If water finds its way under shingles and siding, it will deteriorate the tar paper and plywood materials underneath. As these materials slowly break down, they begin to rot.
They Protect Your Foundation
Soil erosion will affect the foundation.
Your house is a symphony of parts and systems that work together to create a stable, harmonious structure. Your foundation is arguably the most essential part of your home, but it can’t do its job without some help from your home’s gutter system.
The erosion will reach your foundation. Water takes the path of least resistance. If the foundation is solid, the water will continue to seep down and under the foundation, which can structurally weaken your home. If there are any minute cracks in the foundation, water will use them to enter your home.
Once inside, it will flood the basement, rot wooden structures, and act as a breeding ground for mold and insects.
They Protect Your Roof
Roofs are supposed to be flat一maybe at a slant, but flat in nature. Throughout time or damage, dips can form in the roof. These areas create pooling areas for water.
Your roof is built to last for decades, but without a gutter system, this estimate decreases dramatically.
Dips are hazardous in multi-leveled homes without gutters. Water can potentially sit on your roof with nowhere to go. Standing water doesn’t just attract insects; over time, it will weaken the shingles, leading to mold and wood rot as they deteriorate.
If water pools near your roof’s soffits, fascia, or other structural elements, it can cause some severe problems when it comes to keeping moisture out of your home and lead to costly and easily preventable roof repairs.
As gutter installations are considerably cheaper than roof replacements, their importance cannot be understated.
What to Look for in Gutters
If you’ve started looking into gutter installation, you’ve already noticed more than one type. While they all perform the same primary function of moving water away from your house, the rest comes down to looks and cost.
These gutters look exactly how you’d expect them to. Imagine a tube that someone has sliced in half horizontally. They’re curved on the bottom and open on the top. The biggest issue with these is that they have the potential to overflow. On the flip side, however, their downspouts are highly efficient at draining and can outperform their K-style brothers.
K-Style gutters have reigned as the most popular gutter choice for approximately half a century. These gutters have a flat bottom, a flat side, and a decorative side that faces out. From the side, they resemble the letter “K.” While these gutters are popular for their efficiency, their downspouts don’t handle as much water as other styles, so you’ll need more of them to compensate.
Fascia gutters run horizontally underneath the roof’s edge. Tall and narrow, this modern gutter style allows for a larger water capacity, ideal for those sudden downpours.
These gutters won’t fill up as quickly before they can usher water away from your home with minimal overflow (if any).
Seamless or Sectional
Your first decision regarding the gutters for your home that you’ll need to make is whether you want seamed or sectional gutters. Each comes with its own advantages, so understanding the difference is important.
Sectional gutters come in long pieces that attach to the roof’s fascia. They’re cheaper than seamless and easier to install. One of the most significant benefits of sectional gutters is that you can take out a single piece and replace it should damage occur.
On the downside, sectional gutters have seams, so they’re more prone to leaks.
With seamless gutters, you won’t need to worry as much about leaks, especially at those middle points between joints. There is still the possibility of leaks at the joints.
As the name implies, seamless gutters have no seams and are custom-made to run along the entirety of your roof. For this reason, they cost more, but with these gutters comes peace of mind that your home is better protected from leaks.
One more thing you’ll need to be mindful of as you choose the best gutters for your home is the varying material options. Some popular options you’ll need to choose from are:
- Stainless Steel
All of these options boil down to preference and price. If you need help deciding, a gutter installation professional can help narrow down the possibilities.
Gutter Repair and Maintenance
Gutters should be professionally inspected once a year, but it’s also a good idea to have them checked after storms for wind damage. Gutters may look fine from the ground, but debris clogs the gutters and is one of the main reasons for gutter repair services.
Wind, trees too close to the house, and small animals can damage your gutters. Gutters become dented from ladders, sag from excessive pools of water, and crack from rust. When gutters are damaged, even slightly, the flow of water is affected. Improperly flowing water to and from the downspout can cause other serious issues to your roof, foundation, and walls.
Gutter repair is not just fixing the gutters. Managing the water flow is just as important. The water flow may have been fine when the gutters were installed, but since then, you’ve added landscaping, an HVAC unit, or a garden.
Are Gutters Always a Necessity?
Gutters are always a good idea, but they may not be necessary depending on a few factors. Roof inspections help with determining the need for gutters. You get a chance to see how well your roof is doing and find out about all your gutter options simultaneously.
If your roof’s overhang is a couple of inches or less, then there is a high chance of damage to the foundation, gardens, and landscaping. Gutters are a must to protect your home.
If your roof is sharply peaked and the overhand extends twelve inches or more, there’s a good chance the foundation is safe. The water should spill far enough from the foundation, but landscaping is still at risk.
If the house is raised above the ground’s surface, the siding is protected, but there is still a risk of harming the foundation.
If you have no landscape and the area around your home is concrete, then gutters are optional. But, the concrete slabs must be slanted away from the foundation to avoid pooling.
Greenville, SC, Roofers Near Me
Beemer KangaRoof is a fifth-generation roof repair and installation company serving Greenville, Anderson, Marietta, Pickens, and the surrounding areas. We are highly proficient in roofing, including roof inspections, roof repair, and roof replacement.
We also provide gutter services to protect your roof and surrounding areas. We perform gutter installation and gutter repair for all types of homes. We can fix any issues with your gutters or install new ones to match a specific motif or color pattern.