The secret life of gutters is not very exciting. They lead a seemingly mundane existence, hanging from the sides of houses catching rain water, debris and leaves. Their sole purpose is to channel water away from the base of the house, protecting the foundation and all that is inside. Gutters are rarely given a second thought and are largely taken for granted…until there is a problem. Once there is a problem, professional help may be needed.
Gutters have an ancient history. They were used by the Romans and introduced in England around 1066 during the Norman Invasion. This “new” technology was applied to churches and homes. Existing structures were rebuilt with stone roofs and parapets which led to gutters and eventually to gargoyles that spat rainwater from their mouths. Advancements in gutter construction continue to be made, but even the best gutter system can fail—if not properly maintained.
Gutters need to be cleaned and inspected on a regular basis before they become clogged or damaged. Clearing debris and leaves from gutters will prevent water overflows that could cause roof leaks or worse. Rotting organic material in gutters attracts bugs and other critters leading to a possible infestation. Cleaning out your gutters may be unpleasant but unfortunately it is a necessary evil.
Leaks may cause water damage to your home in a variety of ways. A gutter that breaks away can cause major roof or structural damage. When drains and downspouts do not work, water will pool around the base of the house and may cause seepage into the basement. Pooling water will also find its way inside foundation walls with the inevitable freeze thaw cycle causing cracks. Water also causes wooden structures to swell and rot. In other words, nothing good will come of poorly maintained gutters.
Gutter maintenance is requirement of home ownership. Follow these simple steps to prevent major damage from occurring:
- Cleaning—First, take out the big pieces of refuse. Wear gloves to remove leaves, sticks and pine needles. Then, clean the sludge in the bottom of the gutter. Use a garden hose to rinse the troughs and make sure the downspouts are clean by snaking the hose through the gutter.
- Repair—Secure gutters in place by using gutter hangers with self-tapping screws that are available at most hardware superstores.
- Replacements—Repairs are usually less expensive that replacement. Assessing the severity of the damage will help to make this determination. A wide variety of replacement solutions are now available.
Serious property damage and considerable losses can occur as a result of faulty or broken gutters. Professional help may be needed sometimes. All Jersey Mechanical & Construction is here to meet your home and business construction and maintenance needs. We offer a full range of solutions to your gutter repair and replacement needs. All Jersey offers a full-service portfolio of heating, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, renovation, construction, maintenance, Energy Management Systems (EMS), generators and installation services in the eastern New Jersey area. Located at 77 Cliffwood Avenue, Suite 4C in Cliffwood, New Jersey we can be reached by phone at 732-583-1204 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not hesitate to reach out to us to get your project planning underway.
To download a free checklist that will help you prepare your home for the fall and winter, click below!