Nationwide Gutter Services
25 Jun 2016

What happens when you don’t clean your gutters

Leaking gutters
Perhaps the most common ailment to both cleaned and uncleaned gutters is a leak. Easily found and repaired during routine inspection of the gutter, a leak that goes unfixed can cause major damage to the exterior of your home and even the gutter itself. A leak can cause mold and rotting, leading to the gutter giving away and falling from your roof.

Leaking roofs
A leaking roof occurs when your gutter cannot maintain the water drainage from your roof. The spillage that does not fall to the ground can accumulate on the roof, causing damage. During cold weather, gutters may fill with ice, causing snow buildup on the roof. The sitting snow and later melting cause added weight and eventual harm to the roof.

Leaking basements
Most gutters drain toward the bottom exterior of the home. If they are not working properly or aren’t cleaned, the excess water will collect around your basement and eventually leak in. A leaking basement is one of the most hazardous possibilities, because it can result in a gas leak, electrical shock and pollutants in your home.

Rotted wood
Some homes have foundations made from wood. Without a gutter for the water to drain properly into, the water will accumulate and saturate into the house. Over time the wood will rot, causing possible foundation damage and issues with your home’s structure.

Foundation cracks
Like rotting wood, foundation cracks occur when water is absorbed into the home. More likely to occur during colder months due to freezing temperatures and possible “frost heave,” water buildup will cause wall cracks and cracks in the foundation itself. Not as easy to see, this damage occurs in between walls and can eventually lead to mold in your home.

Insect infestation
Where there is moisture, bugs will go. Without a properly maintained gutter, bugs will grow to love your wet and moisture-filled gutters. Nasty critters like carpenter ants, roaches, earwigs, mosquitoes and even termites are likely to cause an infestation in a non-maintained gutter.

Sidewalk/driveway damage
Not only can water cause your sidewalks and driveway to become slippery from excess water and ice, but it can also cause damage. The extra water can cause a sagging and cracked foundation. To avoid this, direct your drain spout in another direction.

Drowning landscape
When a gutter is damaged or unable to retain water, the water then leaks out to the landscape, including your exterior plants. Overwatered plants can turn dull and die, causing an ugly and drowning landscape.



15 Jun 2016

How to Maintain Your Gutters

Gutters and downspouts play a big part in making sure your home is protected from water and moisture damage. Clogged or leaky gutters can result in water spilling out and collecting around the home’s foundations. This could lead to major problems such as:

  • Foundation walls settling/sinking
  • Bulging and/or cracking of basement walls

To avoid these problems, keep your gutters and downspouts in good condition through regular maintenance. Here are some tips to help you along the way.

1. Clean Your Gutters

  • Manually clean out leaves, sticks, needles and seeds using gloves; scoop out any debris with a garden trowel.
  • Avoid using a hose to remove debris – it might clog up the downspouts.
  • Remove any pasty sediment that results from tiny granules of asphalt roofing shingles mixing with dirt and water.
  • If there’s any residual matter, flush it out with your garden hose.
  • Clean downspouts by turning your hose on full blast and threading it into the opening.
  • Adjust your gutters so they’re sloped one vertical inch for every 15 to 20 horizontal feet so they drain properly.

2. Repair Gutters

  • Install new hangars to hold gutters in place. Gutters are usually attached using straps, hangers or long nails inserted through metal collars (known as “spikes and ferrules”).
  • Instead of replacing straps, re-nailing old spikes or adding new spikes, use gutter hangers with self-tapping screws (available at home improvement centers) instead.
  • Replacing straps means prying up roofing materials; it’s easier to install new hangars instead.
  • If spikes need repair, replace them with gutter screws and matching ferrules; a gutter screw has more holding power than a spike.

3. Fix Leaks

  • If you find any leaks at seams, fix them with silicone sealer.
  • If there are rust holes in your steel gutters, replace them instead of trying to repair them with patch kits, which offer only a temporary solution.

4. Replace Gutters

  • If you’re in the business of replacing gutters, opt for steel over aluminum or vinyl, as steel gutters generally performs better.
  • Expansion and contraction due to weather conditions will cause aluminum gutters to come loose more frequently.
  • Vinyl gutters some in 10-foot lengths, which means there’ll be lots of seams to seal.
  • Steel gutters can be installed without intermittent seams and some versions feature baked-on enamel finishes with 40-year warranties.