Gutters are one of the most ignored aspects of home maintenance. They’re often misunderstood and taken for granted despite the crucial role they play in water management. Gutters are designed to collect rainwater from the roof and direct them to the ground through the downspouts. A lot can be done to improve their performance! If you have a home in the PNW, here are a few tips to maximize the use of your gutters.
How do rain gutters work?
Rain gutters are an essential part of the roofing structure in a home. They’re designed to protect the foundation of your home from water damage that can occur during heavy rainstorms or spring thaw. Rainwater from the roof is collected by the gutters and directed to a reservoir or catchment area. This also comes in handy when you want to collect water during the rainy season and conserve it for the dry season.
How can you improve gutters?
There are several things you can do to ensure your gutter system is functioning efficiently. These include:
Install mesh gutter screens
Mesh gutter screens are one of the most effective tools you can use to improve your gutters. They allow rain to pass through and prevent leaves, sticks, and other debris from clogging up gutters. Since they’re easy to install, there’s no reason to go looking for a professional. Just slip them in, and you’re good to go! These little gems will save you time cleaning out the gutters and money in maintenance costs when you hire a gutter service.
Consider gutter Guards
Gutter guards are another effective option. They fit on the surface of your guttering and block out leaves, insects, and other debris from entering into them in the first place! If you don’t want to bother with cleaning your gutters every few months or hate doing it all together, these might be an excellent choice for you. While mesh gutter screens are effective, they don’t prevent the smallest debris from getting through, leading to clogged gutters. Gutter guards do a much better job at blocking off these tiny particles. Installing leaf and branch covers over your existing gutters is one of the easiest ways to protect them from falling debris.
Keep your gutters clean
It’s essential to check on the health of your gutters throughout the year, especially in PNW winters. Gutter maintenance is inevitable if you want them to last longer and keep working better. Gutter cleaning will eliminate all debris and help drain water to avoid the risk of standing water. It’s always advisable to call a professional if you have concerns about how healthy your guttering is, but cleaning them yourself should be easy enough! If you’re looking for a new home in the pacific northwest, look out for homes with well-maintained seamless gutters!
Use foam inserts
If you’re looking for more ways to maximize your gutters, consider using foam inserts. They fit on the inside of your guttering and give it a snug pair of socks! These inserts will improve water flow through them by up to 70%. Since they reduce resistance between the insert and gutter walls, there’s no need for additional maintenance. If your gutters are in pretty good condition, foam inserts will help you get more from them.
Improve gutter slope and grading
Slope and grading are two additional factors that determine how well rainwater flows through your gutters. The grade should be pitched at a minimum of one inch per ten feet to allow for proper drainage and prevent water pooling in pacific northwest winters. If you’re looking to improve gutter slope, use materials like gravel and sand to redirect water flow. These will also improve drainage and avoid stagnating pools in wet weather.
Prevent ice dams
Ice dams are dangerous. They form when snow melts and re-freezes, creating a dam of ice that blocks water flowing through the gutters freely. The resulting pressure can damage your roof and cause water to seep through the ceiling. There are several ways you can prevent ice dams from forming in your home, including using heat tape or heating cables. They work by preventing snow build-up at the edges of roofs, thus keeping gutters clear and preventing damaged gutters.
Replace old gutters
If your gutters are old and rusted, it’s time to replace them with new ones. Since traditional gutters are fragile and more exposed to the elements, they may not hold up well when the weather gets messy. More recent models come in better quality metal that is less likely to rust or corrode. Make sure you get a model that fits your home.
Plan for gutter inspection
If you’re looking to avoid all this fuss, consider making gutter inspection a routine. A good time to do it is right after the first spring rainfall or just before the rainy days begin in the PNW. There are various structural damages that you may not be in a position to fix on your own. Calling a professional to inspect your roof ensures that your gutters are in perfect working order and that you don’t end up with expensive damages.
Roofing & Gutter Professional!
If you are in the market for roofing contractors, consider hiring Pioneer Roofers! We have a qualified team of professionals committed to ensuring your roof has the best protection possible against all kinds of weather conditions on the west coast. Contact us through phone or e-mail anytime you need our services and get a free quote!