We all have them--and we all seem to take them for granted. We just seem to forget about our home's rain gutters--until they "suddenly" stop doing their job! In reality, our home's gutters are some of our property's most important pieces of protection. They are also some of our property's most often overlooked workers. Today, I wanted to share a few simple facts about gutters that you may have forgotten--or have never really known.
Modern Gutters are Fairly New Inventions. The concept of rain gutters dates back as early as 3000 B.C., when ancient civilizations used rudimentary wood, stone or brick constructions to focus on moving water from place to place. Water was diverted from buildings via spouting gargoyles or decorative lion statues later in ancient cultures. The Industrial Revolution brought advances in water drainage systems--but, it wasn't until the 1960's that homes and other buildings began seeing modern, metal (usually aluminum), rain gutters as we know them.
Rain Gutters Serve Important Jobs. While we may paint them in lovely, contrasting colors to our homes--these curvy, metal attachments are in place for more than appearances. Rain gutters serve two major purposes: they collect water runoff from a structure's roof--to prevent a waterfall effect to the ground surrounding the home--and they HOLD that water until it can be safely and effectively diverted away from the home or building foundations. This keeps the home or structure's near ground from becoming overly water-saturated & leaking into the home's basement or
from causing other water damage to the building's foundation or landscaping. Rain Gutters Require Maintenance. Gutters work by collecting rain runoff from the roof--and allowing that runoff to flow to downspouts and eventually to a street's storm drain or, at least, a safe distance from the structure. While these structures generally do their jobs without homeowner intervention; rain gutters still require basic maintenance from time to time. While it's easy to forget about them until there is a problem; gutters should actually be inspected often for signs of dents or damage and they should be cleaned at least once or twice per year. Maybe more often if you have heavy trees in your landscaping. Remember too--that some roof gutters are extremely high--and may require professional gutter cleaning or maintenance services. Whether you need Sydney gutter cleaning or need to find a service near you; there are times when you simply may prefer to call in a professional.
Gutters with Covers Still Need Cleaning at Times. If you thought a gutter cover removed all responsibility--you may be in for a surprise. Perhaps your yard is surrounded by pine trees--or even with an active bird or insect population. These factors may clog your gutter covers and cause them to malfunction, overflow or even stop working without cleaning.
Gutters do not last forever. Well maintained rain gutters usually serve homeowners very well. The "life expectancy" for rain gutters ranges from a few years (for wood and certain other materials) to 20-25 years for typical, aluminum gutters. Aluminum is a light-weight metal so it attaches easily to the home--but, it also takes on dents and dings more readily than more expensive materials over time in the elements. If a gutter develops a leak or severe damage from ice or storms--that section will likely need replaced or repaired to keep the system working as intended. Sometimes the rain gutters simply loosen or bow and gaps appear between the gutter and the home--allowing waterfall effects from the roof's drainage.
Your gutters are your home's first line of defense against water damage--so it's important to know the facts, keep them maintained and watch for signs that it's time to repair or replace them!