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Pay Attention to Your Gutters This Fall

Pay Attention to Your Gutters - Nashville TN - Gutterman of TNAutumn has finally arrived and the season is in full swing. The temperatures have dropped, giving the wind a chilly edge, and the leaves have started to change, making the landscape beautiful. The yellows, reds, and browns mixed together in the trees always makes for a breathtaking sight this time of year. Unfortunately, homeowners know that these stunning scenery turns quickly into a hassle. If you are a homeowner with a lot of trees on your property, you know the painstaking work of clearing the yard of leaves. For every leaf you pick up, it seems like three more fall, which turns raking into a nonstop event. Now, imagine if you left all those leaves to sit in your grass. Depending on how many trees you have, there might be a pretty thick layer on your lawn. This is exactly what your gutters look like this time of year if you do not have a professional out to clean them, and this problem can wreak havoc on your home.

Gutters are often neglected by homeowners, usually unintentionally, because they blend right into your home and rarely seem to cause any trouble. Within a clear, well-installed gutter system, the water should roll off your roof into the slightly pitched gutter, where it then flows to a vertical drainage pipe that empties the water onto the ground a safe distance from the home. Simple enough – when this is how it happens. However, blocked gutters can cause you tens of thousands of dollars in property damage

The first place of damage in a clogged gutter is to the gutter itself. The leaves and other debris that build up there in the fall quickly start to decay, particularly if any moisture has been trapped in with it as well. Considering how unusually wet the fall has been this year, there is likely a substantial amount of water sitting in the gutter. This water and decaying material can quickly start to affect the gutters themselves. While gutters are meant to withstand water, they are not intended to hold water long term. If your gutters are metal, they may start to corrode and leak. In addition, the weight of the water and debris in the gutters could cause the gutters to separate from the home or fall completely to the ground. Replacing gutters is a costly, troublesome job, meaning it would be wisest to just have them cleaned every year.

Clogged and overflowing gutters can also damage your home. The water that should empty out into the yard ends up spilling over the gutters right at the base of your home. This creates a large pool of moisture that sits next to your foundation. At this point, the possibilities of damage increase significantly. Your basement or crawlspace may begin leaking. That could lead to the growth of mold or mildew. Water in your foundation could even result in foundation cracks as the concrete expands due to the freeze and thaw cycle of winter.

If you need your gutters cleaned this season to prevent thousands of dollars in damage, contact The Gutterman of TN for a professional consultation. Your home deserves this care.

Common Mistakes of Installing Your Own Gutters

installing_gutters_nashville_tn_guttermanOne of the most easily forgotten aspects of the outside of your home is your gutter system. Many homeowners do not think about their gutters until they start causing problems in other areas of the house. Bad gutters can lead to all sorts of problems, from a leaking ceiling to a flooded basement or even rotted wood structure, and not only old gutters cause these issues. Brand new gutters can result in expensive damage if they are poorly installed.

The Wrong Size

A common mistake homeowners make when installing their own gutters is choosing the wrong size. The size of the gutter depends on the span and pitch of the roof and the expected amount of rainfall in your area. If the roof is large and steep, it will need a larger gutter to accommodate large amounts of fast-moving water flowing off the roof. At the same time, if you live in an area that receives a lot of rain, having too small of gutters will lead to overflowing gutters and, eventually, property damage.

The Right Pitch

Gutters have to follow gravity and tilting the pitch of the gutters correctly for proper flow is important. If the pitch is too steep, the water will travel too quickly toward the drainage pipe and spill over the sides. On the other hand, if the pitch is too flat, the water may not drain at all. Instead, the water will pool in the gutter, creating heavy spots that weigh the gutter down and even gutter damage.

Placements of Hangers

Generally, the gutters attach to the house using devices called hangers, and the misplacement of these is another potentially devastating mistake made when homeowners install gutters themselves. While the only downfall of placing them too close together is investing more money than necessary in hangers you did not need, spacing them too far apart is another story. Here, the unsupported gutters may sag under the weight of the water, leading to water pooling, improper drainage and possibly collapsing gutters.

The Right Material

Finally, many do-it-yourselfers make the mistake of choosing the cost-effective materials, like vinyl or aluminum. These cheap gutters may feel good on the wallet, but you will feel the true costs down the line when the gutters deteriorate much faster than you anticipated. A wiser investment would be in steel, copper or zinc gutters, which are designed to last much longer. They cost more upfront but will save you money in the long run.

While no one can stop you from buying and installing gutters yourself, you should seriously consider the consequences of a poor installation. Aside from the physical danger you needlessly put yourself in by climbing on your house, your actual home could pay a price too in the form of costly property damage. Your best bet is to have the gutters installed professionally. If you need gutters installed or serviced and live in the Nashville, Tennessee area, contact the Gutterman of TN for a professional consultation.