Are Rain Gutters Really Important?
By Rick Greene, General Manager, LeafGuard of Colorado, East Denver LIVING WELL Magazine
Rain gutters are small but critical components of a building’s roofing system and a long-term investment in the infrastructure of your home. Millions of feet of gutter are installed each year throughout the country, yet there is very little information available to educate or guide consumers when they’re installing or replacing gutters. Gutters.com is a great site to get more information on gutters and help you make informed choices when replacing or choosing a gutter system.
All gutters are troughs that collect rain running off a roof and channel it, with proper slopes, to downspouts that carry the rainwater to the ground and away from your siding, windows, doors and foundation. The most commonly used gutter – open gutters – should be regularly cleaned of leaves and debris in order to function properly.
In the course of collecting water, open rain gutters also collect leaves, acorns, pine needles, and other debris that can cause clogs anywhere in the gutter itself or sometimes in the downspouts. In dry conditions clogged gutters are a fire hazard; and during heavy rains, clogged gutters and downspouts can cause rainwater to overflow, potentially causing substantial damage to your building, landscaping and basement.
- Loose debris will quickly begin to decompose, matting down and compressing into a solid sheet as it becomes damp, causing gutter clogs.
- Accumulated debris caused by clogged gutters is a fire hazard, and it is extremely bad for the roof, accelerating wear and backing water up under the shingles.
- It can also create a solid bridge over the top of the gutters that can send water cascading over the edge.
Damage Clogged Gutters Can Cause
- Basement flooding
- Foundation cracking and settlement
- Soil erosion
- Dry-rot on fascia boards, soffit, and roof
- Paint damage
- Window, door and siding damage
- Mold damage
- Fire damage in dry, high wind, fire-prone areas
Common Causes of Gutter Damage
- Leaning ladders against gutters to clean them out
- Seams splitting apart (on non-seamless types)
- Ice formation
- Pest infestations
- Stains caused by constant overflowing and rusting spikes
- Storm and tree damage
Gutter guards, a form of leaf protection, allow water to flow freely through the gutter bottom, while preventing debris from falling into the gutter and interrupting the flow.
There are now many gutter guards or leaf protection products available to the homeowner.
Add-on systems hang over or cover open gutters, deflecting leaves and debris from going into the gutter, and allowing water to flow freely through the trough. They are attached to your home with screws or nails, under your shingles and into your roof, or into your fascia or the gutter itself. These two-piece systems are not seamless, and usually sold in pre-cut lengths.
Screens, usually made of aluminum or plastic, are installed on top of an open gutter and are designed to keep debris from entering into the gutter bottom. Screens are usually sold in pre-cut lengths and attached to the gutter with screws or clips.
Inserts are the least effective of leaf protection options. They come in different formats, from foam to rounded bristles. Each is designed to be inserted into the gutter trough and repel leaves and debris while permitting rain to pass through the membrane or brush. They are sold in pre-cut lengths.
LeafGuard Brand is the only one-piece gutter and gutter guard system on the market. LeafGuard’s patented design allows rainwater to travel down and around its curved hood and into the gutter, while deflecting leaves and debris. It is a seamless gutter, roll-formed on-site from a single sheet of metal that is attached to the fascia board with hidden hangers and screws. It is guaranteed to Never clog and Never need cleaning.
For more information or to schedule your Free Estimate, please call Rick Greene at 888-845-9292.