While few people spend a lot of time thinking about the gutters on their home, they are one of the most important parts of your roofing and drainage system. While it can be easy to forget about them, gutters must be well-maintained in order to ensure that a home is protected during a major storm. In addition, a gutter system must be replaced or repaired periodically in order to make sure that it functions as it should.
In order to understand why gutters are so important, it is first necessary to understand what they do. During a storm event, rain falls on all parts of a home’s roof. Without gutters, many people assume that this water would simply flow off the roof and into the ground. In fact, this can be a dangerous way for water to fall. As the water flows off the roof, a stress point is created at the seam where the roof joins the walls of the house. Over time, the volume of water flowing over this seam will weaken the joints and adhesives, opening the house up to all sorts of roof problems. During a storm, water can seep into these cracks, creating leaks in the home’s attic. These holes and tears can also become a perfect way for vermin and insects to enter the house.
Furthermore, as the water falls on the ground it can create a “natural” trench or ditch around the home. Over the course of several storms, this ditch can turn into a moat around the home. This means that the home is surrounded by a ring of standing water around the home. While this can attract mosquitoes and other disease-causing insects, over time it can also degrade the foundation of a home.
Gutters act to collect the water that sheet flows off a roof and channel it to an area that is better for drainage. By not allowing the water to flow over a seam, the gutters prevent damage to a home’s roof. Once water is in the gutter system, it is directed to one or more designated drainage areas. These areas are built into a home’s structure and often involve a concrete collection box for the water. This prevents the water from pooling up around the exterior of the home. Over time, water in these drainage areas will be absorbed by the yard surrounding the home.
By installing high quality gutters, a homeowner is making sure that their investment in their primary residence is protected. Gutters do a lot more than simply water from landing on a person’s head when they’re trying to find their house keys. They channel and direct water away from critical areas of the home’s structure.