Gutters and Downspouts Maintenance

Keep Gutters and Downspouts Clean

Keep Your Basement Dry

(HawleyHomeInspectionsLLC) Gutters and downspouts are not only attractive they are functional.  Fortunately 95% of having a dry basement or crawl space is proper gutter and downspout installation and maintenance.  Gutters should be cleaned at least once a year and more often if you have trees close to the house.

Gutter guards can be added and special gutters are available  with built in leaf deflection designs.  Aluminum gutters are the most common in St Louis although some steel and even wood and copper gutters will be found.

The use of down spout extensions will help keep your basement dry.

Keep your Gutters  Clean

Clogged Gutters Should be Cleaned Likewise gutter installation is not rocket science.  Because water flows downhill a slight slope towards the downspout is all that is needed to maintain proper drainage.

However, one of the more common faults we see with guttering is a negative slope away from the downspout.  Depending on the severity of the problem this may or may not need to be corrected.

Make sure the ends of buried down spout drains are open.  Down spouts must be free to drain.  Dirt and even grass and tree roots will fill under ground drains and slow or stop drainage.

You should check all buried lines and popup drain on a regular basis.  Water that does not travel four to six feet away from the foundation may end up in your basement.

Don’t Dump you Gutters and Downspouts on the Roof Deck

In addition a common defect on second floor roof systems is dumping water on the roof below. Instead of directing to a lower gutter with a downspout. There are two reasons this is done. One is simply economics, to add an extra down spout adds cost.

he second reason is the builder did not consider the damage this water flow will cause to shingles over time. How much water will be discharged and the length of time it is allowed to continue will determine how much damage occurs.

Damage caused by water erosion will not automatically void your shingle warranty.  If the shingle manufacturer decides the missing granules were caused by gutter erosion you can bet they will deny any warranty claims for that area.