As part of the roofing system, gutters play an important role in protecting your home from storms, continuous rain, snow, and heavy rainfall. Water damage is insidious, affecting the foundation (basement flooding), siding (mold), soffit and fascia (wood rot). Whether you’re selling your home in the near future or you want better curb appeal, gutters can affect the value of your home in significant ways.
Protects Your Home’s Exterior
When gutters work the way they should, your home’s exterior is protected from the ill effects of excessive rain. But when a gutter system is not properly maintained, neglected gutters make a house vulnerable to problems that might result in costly repairs. Water damage can ruin the edges of the roof (eaves). When it seeps into or behind siding, soffit, and fascia, moisture that is not allowed to evaporate encourages mold or mildew growth. Peeling paint on exterior walls or the “blistered” finish on siding is often the result of overflowing gutters. Water damage can cause cracks in a foundation and/or basement flooding. Most of these home exterior problems can be prevented by regularly cleaning and maintaining the gutters.
Improves the Aesthetics of Your Home Exterior
Gutters in poor condition put a big dent in your curb appeal. If they sag, are streaked and grimy, or are missing altogether, they look bad and make your home appear uncared for. Pooling water from gutters that constantly overflow can create muddy puddles and unsightly streaks and stains on the driveway and pathways. Soil erosion and “pitted” landscaping can also be attributed to overflowing gutters.
On the other hand, gutters in good repair improve the aesthetics of your home exterior. To further boost your curb appeal with gutters, when replacing the entry door, window trim, the roof, or even the gutters themselves, select colors and textures that match or complement each of the other exterior finishing elements.
Protects the Interior of Your Home
Water that infiltrates exterior walls can stain ceilings, invite pests and mold into your home, and weaken support beams attacked by wood rot. Mold growing on interior basement walls or inside bedroom closets can be a real health risk. Functioning gutters prevent seepage from damaging the interior of your home.
Most likely, if you have a homeowners’ insurance policy, the gutters are included. But check your policy regarding the specifics of how your gutters are covered. For example, some home insurance policies don’t cover water damage caused by seepage, splashing, dripping, or overflowing – a typical result of debris buildup in a gutter system. Also, many insurance companies reserve the right to not pay for replacement gutters when the system has not been regularly maintained.