A healthy gutter system protects your home’s exterior, keeps home maintenance costs down to a minimum, and guards landscaping from the harmful effects of poor drainage. Gutters that are in good shape significantly better protect your house from water damage. But what do healthy gutters look like?
You should be able to look inside the gutter channel and see the bottom. When gutters are free of debris such as pine needles, leaves, twigs, and other bits and pieces of organic and inorganic materials, a gutter system is less likely to become clogged or blocked. Cleaning gutters at least twice a year, especially once in the fall, ensures they’ll stay healthy throughout the year. If you live in an area such as Maple Ridge or North Vancouver where there are a lot of trees, it might be necessary to clean the gutters three or four times a year.
While inside of the gutters should be free of leaves and twigs, the outside of a gutter system, including the downspouts, must sparkling clean. To you it might look like a streak of dirt, but to mold spores it looks like home, particularly if the gutters or downspouts are in shaded areas. Leaving dirt to its own devices can result in mold growth, the presence of algae and mildew, and the unwanted appearance of rot. Removing grime, dirt, and pollutants from the surface of gutter sections also helps preserve the gutters’ protective finish.
How gutters works is pretty simple. When it rains, the water runs down the roof, lands in the gutters, and flows through the downspouts to be deposited a safe distance from the foundation of the home. A gutter system that functions optimally does not overflow, splash up into the soffit and fascia, or have pooling (below the downspouts) or standing (inside gutter channels) water issues.
Hardware is Securely Attached
Loose hardware might appear inconsequential. But as ferrules, spikes, nails, and fasteners age, they can become loose and pull away from the fascia and exterior walls where they hold the gutters and downspouts in place. When hardware is not securely attached, gutters can sag or even go missing – ditto for the brackets that secure downspouts to an outside wall.
The most obvious sign of healthy gutters is there are no visible signs of damage. Gutter sections are not grimy or stained. Gutters and downspouts are not missing sections. Downspouts are attached to gutter outlets. Aluminum gutters don’t have any dents. Seams are properly sealed and don’t leak. All hardware is tightly attached, displays no signs of rust, and there are no nails, brackets, etc. missing.