Gutters and Downspouts Maintenance – November 1, 2018
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 trees are close to the house.
You can add gutter guards, and unique gutters are available with built-in leaf deflection designs. Aluminum gutters are the most common in St Louis, although you will find some steel and even wood and copper gutters.
The use of downspout extensions will help keep your basement dry.
Keep Your Gutters Clean
It would be best if you cleaned your gutters; likewise, gutter installation is not rocket science. Because water flows downhill, a slight slope towards the downspout 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 downspout drains are open. Downspouts must be free to drain. Dirt and even grass and tree roots will fill underground drains and slow or stop drainage.
You should check all buried lines and popup drains regularly. Water that does not travel four to six feet away from the foundation may end up in your basement.
Don’t Dump your 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 it to a lower gutter with a downspout. There are two reasons to do this. One is simply economics; to add an extra downspout adds cost.
The second reason is the builder did not consider the damage this water flow will cause to shingles over time. The amount of water that 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 due to gutter erosion, you can bet they will deny any warranty claims for that area.
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