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Common Gutter Problems Faced by Annapolis Homeowners

Friday, October 17th, 2014 by Danny Peterson


No homeowner really enjoys cleaning the gutters; in fact, most homeowners would prefer to think about their gutters, and about gutter maintenance, as little as possible. With that said, taking the time to clean gutters—or investing in a gutter protection system—is surely better than the alternative: Gutters that are not well maintained are likely to suffer from various problems, some of them potentially costly. Annapolis homeowners are urged to think carefully about the sheer level of damage—to say nothing of inconvenience—that poorly maintained gutters can cause. When weighed against this, the thought of investing in a gutter protection system might not seem so bad! Clogged Gutters This, of course, is the most common of all gutter problems, and the main one for Annapolis homeowners to be wary of. Gutters that are not regularly cleaned will fill up with dirt, leaves, and debris—and eventually become so clogged that they are effectively useless. This is a problem for a number of reasons. For one thing, it can actually make the gutters so heavy that they start to sag, and can pull away from the home itself—sometimes pulling part of the roof along with them. Repairing this structural damage can be costly. What’s more, clogged gutters can lead to standing water on the roof, which can in turn lead to moisture damage, mold, and more. The list of potential problems goes on from there. When gutters clog, rain water runoff is not directed properly, and simply comes cascading down to the ground. The best-case scenario is that it just does some damage to the landscaping, eroding it and harming plants; the worst-case is that it does some significant moisture damage to the foundation of the home. Sagging Gutters All told, then, gutters that are not properly cleaned—at least a couple of times each year—can cause all kinds of problems. Even when gutters are not clogged, though, there can be problems. Sometimes the hangers that hold them to the roof can weaken over time, and the gutters can sag and pull away from the roof even when they’re not all that clogged. Be on the lookout for this. Inspect the gutters a couple times each year and note any hangers that are broken. You can buy new ones cheaply, and simply reattach them to the house. This is usually a simple DIY fix. Leaky Gutters This is less common than gutter clogging, but still something homeowners in Annapolis should know about. Gutters can, over time, become leaky, developing small pinhole leaks or minor fissures. This does not happen in a systematic way, but a leak may pop up here and there in your gutter system over the years. Some caulk or sealant, applied inside the gutters, can usually fix the problem quite simply. The hardest part, sometimes, is just knowing when you have a leak, though stepping outside and inspecting the gutters following a big rain can usually give you some idea. Improperly Draining Gutters A final problem—and this one is easy to fix: Some gutters drain too close to the foundation, which means you could be sending excess water straight into your basement. The downspout should extend out a few feet from the home—and if yours doesn’t, no worries: A downspout extension can be affordably purchased and easily installed. The bottom line in all of this is really just that gutter maintenance is not a headache in itself; inconvenient though it may be, the real headache is dealing with one of these common problems. You can avoid all of this, of course, by having some good gutter guards installed, and by simply making an effort to inspect your roof and gutters once a year or so.

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