Gutter maintenance is something homeowner’s tend to think about only after a problem occurs. They may soon discover that poorly functioning rain gutters can cause many problems, including foundation erosion, basement leaks and rotten fascia boards. During the warmer months, it is a good idea to check your home’s gutter system for damages from ice and snow, heavy rains or clogged debris. If gutter inspections aren’t your forte, whole gutter systems can be replaced with the modern gutter system.
Once you’ve decided to tackle the job of inspecting your gutters, find a sturdy ladder to support you. If you have permanently installed gutter screens or gutter guards, they may be difficult to observe from the ground. It’s a good idea to check each run of gutters from a ladder, to make sure they are clean and free of debris before making any repairs. If your downspouts also have screens at the top, clear them as well, or replace the screens if they’re damaged.
While inspecting your gutters, you may find that over time, the spikes that hold the aluminum to the fascia board have loosened. Either drive the loose spikes back into place, or replace them with longer ones for improved support. Downspouts and other fittings can also be pulled away by snow and ice and may need to be reattached. Gutter neglect can also result in leaks. Most leaks occur at a joint and can be repaired with rubber tape or self-adhesive tape. The patches should be placed a few inches on either side of the leak area.
If you’re not a do-it-yourself kind of homeowner and the thought of tall ladders makes you queasy, the modern gutter system, known as the Rainhandler, turns do-it-yourself into done-for-you. Rainhandler’s unique louver design converts a stream of rainwater into a two-to four-foot wide swath of droplets that are absorbed by shrubs and lawn beyond the eaves.
Rainhandler provides a maintenance-free gutter system for homeowners and creates other benefits. According to the company’s VP Operations, Bob Zuklie, the single biggest problem of homes with no gutters or clogged gutters is ground erosion. Ground erosion can undermine a home’s foundation and cause structural damage, undermine walks and driveways and create safety hazards. Not only does the dispersion of water prevent ground erosion, it allows the transformation of what might otherwise be a torrential downpour of rain streaming from old gutters into a gentle distribution of water droplets, protecting shrubbery and flowers below.
The design of the product’s aluminum louvers also permits leaves and debris to simply blow away, since there is no gutter-like container. These louvers also prevent potentially damaging ice build-up from forming in gutters and eventually leaking into your home. “I used to have a problem in the winter with my conventional gutters with ice build up over my bow window and then the water backing up and running into the living room,” explained a Warwick, Rhode Island resident. “The problem has been solved since I installed the system.”
Whether you decide to hang on to your traditional gutters, or replace them with the Rainhandler modern gutter, the required care for conventional gutters is something homeowners should think about before a problem exists. Regular maintenance and preventative measures can protect you home from possible disasters that can end up costing you hundreds of dollars in the future. Gutter maintenance demonstrates that protecting areas of your home doesn’t necessarily begin from the ground up.