Keeping Heads out of Gutters
By Jon Vacha
Most gutters are designed to perfectly fit those gutter clips that Christmas lights hang on to. Gutters are also good for grabbing on to if you slip on a roof during an inspecting and start to slide off. When it rains they also work well for moving the water that falls on the roof away from a house’s foundation.
Usually it is a good idea to have the gutter downspout extending at least 4-6 feet away from the foundation. Something as simple as a missing downspout extension can cause big, expensive problems to a basement and foundation. Water that is allowed to drain near a foundation can find its way into a basement and cause flooding or mold growth.
A sagging or clogged or undersized gutter is just as bad as a missing gutter during a heavy rain storm. If the water can’t make it over to and through the downspouts then it will spill over the edge. During inspections we check to make sure not only that the gutters and downspouts are present, but that the entire gutter system is sufficiently engineered and installed.
There are many types of gutter guards that help keep a home owner from climbing on ladders to clean out the leaves every year. I had some cheaper ones that are basically flat pieces of plastic with large holes in them that were on my house when I first bought it. I also have a large maple tree over my roof. The first autumn my gutters where decorated and clogged with hundreds of those little helicopters which fit perfectly in the gutter guard holes and stick straight up.
Better types of gutter guards include Helmet and Micromesh kinds. These don’t allow leaves and debris to collect and clog up the guards. The picture shows a Christmas decoration that was causing 911 calls from passersby. Gutter guards can help keep this situation from happening in real life.
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