Rain gutters do much more than simply channel water away from your home. They also help prevent leaks, protect your home and landscape from water damage, and keep moisture from damaging your roof. While the benefits of having high-quality gutters on your home are indisputable, many homeowners fail to maintain their home’s gutter system. Unfortunately, this can result in a wide range of problems down the line. Learn more about how gutters function, the importance of having quality gutters installed, and why you should contact professional gutter installation contractors to complete the job.
Primary Functions of Gutters
Your roof protects your home from rain showers by catching the water in gutters. Gutters are the horizontal component of a system that diverts rainwater away from your home. Gutters are typically installed along the eave edges of the roof, but can also be attached to certain features such as dormers. They are open at the top to catch rainwater that runs off the roof. Once rain is collected in the gutters, it flows into the downspouts. The downspouts are closed vertical sections of the gutter system that directs water from the roof and gutters down to the ground.
You may be wondering why you need gutters. If you do not have gutters, water would just roll off your roof, right? While water does flow off the roof regardless of the presence of gutters, a gutter system plays a more important role. If you allow water to run off your roof and directly down to the ground, the water would pool around your foundation. During heavy rain or periods of melted snow and ice, the water would seep into your basement causing water damage and possibly flooding. The pooling of water can also have a negative impact on your plants and landscaping efforts.
A functional gutter system plays several key roles in the protection of your home and property. First, gutters help keep water off your roof which is crucial to prevent problems such as rotting, deterioration, and mold growth on soffit, fascia, shingles, and masonry. A high-quality gutter system can also help prevent moisture in windows which can lead to condensation or damage to interior walls and sills. Finally, gutters prevent water from damaging the foundation and creating soil erosion.
Importance of a Quality Gutter System
Gutters have one main job: to guide water off of your roof and away from your home. However, despite their importance it can be easy to forget about these systems that span the length of your roof. Whether you have traditional metal gutters or more modern plastic gutters, it is essential to realize their importance and take the necessary steps to keep your gutters in good condition. One of the most important benefits of gutters is the prevention of structural damage. Without gutters, water would run off your roof and down the sides of your home. Gutters prevent this from happening by directing water to downspouts.
Gutters can also protect your home from the following common issues:
- Basement flooding and water damage
- Damaged or cracked foundation
- Mold growth caused by lingering moisture
- Soil erosion caused by water runoff
- Paint damage
- Staining to your fascia, soffit, outside walls, and wood framing
- Rusting or rotting of outdoor building materials
- Damage to landscape, including plant disease
While gutters are highly useful in diverting water away from their home, they are not without their own set of risks. Poor gutter installation or the use of inferior materials could result in other types of issues. When leaves and other debris are allowed to build up inside gutters, water flow is essentially blocked causing an overspill of water. This can cause water damage to your roof and foundation if not promptly dealt with. Investing in quality gutters with leaf protection systems is the best option for keeping your gutters in good shape. It is also crucial to have your system installed by reliable and experienced gutter installation contractors.
Choosing Gutter Designs and Materials
When shopping for new gutters, you will find that there are many choices available to you. Aluminum gutters are one of the most popular choices as they are affordable, lightweight, and available in a wide range of colors. Vinyl is also a common choice as it is budget-friendly and easy to install. However, vinyl does not typically last as long as other materials, especially in harsher climates. Other choices to consider include copper and zinc. Both of these higher-end options can create a beautiful aesthetic, but the higher price point can be a turn off. If price is a concern for you, you may want to stick with an aluminum or vinyl gutter installation.
In addition to material, you will want to consider what gutter system design you want for your home. K-style gutters feature flat bottoms and backs with a decorative side on the front that looks similar to crown molding. Another option is half-round gutters. As the name suggests, half-round gutters feature half-round tubes. This type of gutter is more common on older homes. While half-round gutters can help bring a historic home back to completion, K-style gutters offer nearly twice the capacity of their half-round counterparts. The cost of K-style gutters is also approximately 50 percent more per linear foot. Compare your options to see which is best for your home and budget.
Contact Gutter Installation Contractors
One of the most important maintenance tasks you can perform on your home is gutter repair and maintenance. Water damage can result in hundreds to thousands of dollars in damage. If left unchecked, water damage can also cause mold growth which can have a direct impact on your family’s health.
A well-functioning gutter system is critical to prevent water damage and keep your home and roof protected. It is also vital for more attractive curb appeal and a thriving landscape. For more information about gutter installation or for help with your next gutter repair or installation project, contact a reliable Northern Virginia gutter installation contractor today.