What Your Gutters and Downspouts Really do for Your Home

Most homeowners know that the main purpose of the gutters and downspouts is to keep their homes safe from the evils of water damage. When a gutter system doesn’t work efficiently, gutters can leak into the interior of your home, overflow onto siding, or splash water up into the soffit and fascia. While your gutters and downspouts protect your home from the elements, they also prevent water damage to your property.

Extend the Life of Your Roof

If gutters are clogged, water that doesn’t properly drain from off the roof can overflow the gutters. Rainwater that seeps under a roof’s shingles or splashes up into the soffit and fascia can cause leaks, mould, extensive moss growth, and wood rot. Not only can they damage roofing shingles, soffit, and fascia, over time, leaks, heavy moss growth, and wood rot can cause structural issues, compromising your roof’s ability to protect your home. A working gutter system free of clogs extends the life of your roof and protects your home’s exterior.

Stop Water from Getting Inside

Gutters and downspouts stop water from getting inside your home. Moisture that leaks from a gutter system can adversely affect interior living areas including:

  • The basement – flooding
  • A crawl space – excess moisture
  • The attic – damp insulation
  • Ceilings and walls – discolouration; staining
  • Musty odours that won’t leave the room

Prevent Damage to the Foundation

When gutters and downspouts don’t completely drain water a safe distance from the base of exterior walls, soil erosion washes away the earth that helps stabilize the foundation. To protect the structural integrity of your home, the foundation cannot be allowed to shift. Soil around your home should not be too dry or oversaturated. In addition to shifting and sinking as a result of soil erosion, moisture build-up on the surface of the foundation can turn pinholes or tiny fissures in the cement into cracks.

Protect Your Siding

When gutters are clogged, water can overflow the gutter channel in one of two ways. If it overflows the front of the gutters, it can cause soil erosion and foundation issues. If there are gaps between the back of the gutter trough and the fascia, water can run down siding. Moisture that gets in behind siding panels and doesn’t dry out encourages mould and wood rot.

Prevent Damage to Windows and Doors

If runoff escapes from the gutters and down the siding, water can come into contact with your windows and doors Even the smallest hole or crack in the trim can let in moisture, resulting in wood rot (potential structural issues) and mould growth (health issues).

Improve the Appearance of Your Property

Curb appeal is important. It makes your home welcoming and inviting; expresses your home’s unique personality; and tells your neighbours that you’re a good neighbour While they protect your home’s exterior, gutters and downspouts also improve the general appearance of your property.

Gutters: If you plan on replacing the gutter system in the near future, consider seamless aluminum gutters for a more cohesive look for your home exterior. Since they have fewer seams, they can better protect your home from potential leaks. If the they don’t need to be updated, give your curb appeal a boost by keeping the outside of the gutters clean, polished, and in good repair – no peeling, dents, or other visible signs of damage.

Landscape: Oversaturated flower beds, washed out areas on the lawn or in the garden, and soggy patches of grass detract from your curb appeal A functioning gutter system can help spare you the expense of reseeding the lawn, replacing plants and shrubs, repairing soil erosion damage, or dealing with a fallen tree.

Driveway: Especially if downspouts are positioned near the driveway, make sure that they do not drain or leave pooled water directly onto its surface. Constant exposure to runoff can seep into the driveway causing sinking, pitting, flaking, or cracking.