Spring is finally here and it’s no secret that in the lovely State of New York the elements take a toll on your home, both inside and out. Your roof is one of your first lines of defense against these elements, which is why an inspection and maintenance of your roof is recommened when Spring arrives. However, one area that often goes overlooked during this inspection is your home’s gutter system.
Your gutters are what directs water away from your home. It is a draining system that makes sure water doesn’t leak into unwanted places and create costly damage. Gutters help to protect your shingles, siding, soffits and more. When they aren’t working properly, they can even start to degrade the stability of your home through soil and foundation erosion. At the end of the day, gutters are just as important to inspect as the rest of your home.
Damage to your gutters can happen quickly. Even if you only have minor damage, the weight and continual pressure from built up water and debris can turn an easy fix into a major problem. That’s why inspection and maintenance is so important. The best time to make these inspections is during the spring months, right after the harsh winters but before the heavy rains begin. Add it to your list of chores and make sure you not only inspect them but to also clean them and take proper maintenance care as spring turns into summer.
We at GutterXpress have put together a quick check list for Homeowner’s to use when they are inspecting their gutters. Taking a quick walk around your home and knowing what to look for can end up saving you a lot of time and money down the road!
THE GUTTER INSPECTION CHECKLIST
1. Do the gutters extend at least 1⁄2 inch beyond the shingles at the end of every gutter run? They should to ensure that all the water coming off of your roof makes it into the gutter.
2. If your gutter is more than 20 feet long, does it have more than one downspout attached to it? Your gutters need at least one downspout for every 20 feet of gutter length.
3. Are there vertical water or dirt stripes coming down your fascia board behind your gutter? This is a sign that your gutters are either beginning to pull away from the fascia board or that your shingle or other roof covering is not extended FAR enough out over the gutter.
4. Do you see pools of water remaining in your gutter long after the rain has stopped? Besides providing a mosquito breeding pool, water mixed with shingle and organic acids will eat away at your gutter if allowed to remain pooled inside.
5. Are there any worn/dead spots in the grass or splashed out areas in your landscape that indicate a mini waterfall may be occurring at that section of your gutter? Your gutters may need to be re-hung and/or re-pitched.
6. Do your gutters show any signs of wear such as pitting or paint oxidation? (paint that has become chalky and wipes off if you touch it). This is a sign that sections of your gutter could break through at any moment.
7. Has your gutter been installed with spikes? How far apart are the spikes placed? They should be spaced no more than 2 feet apart. It is recommended that hidden hangers be installed next to each spike to strengthen the gutter. Spikes are much more likely to work loose from the fascia board than a hidden hanger.
8. Is the fascia board your gutter attached to in good shape or has it begun to deteriorate? Is it “spongy” or decayed? Even though your gutter may be in good shape, it’s dangerous to have it attached to a decayed fascia board as it may pull loose and drop at any time.
9. Are there leaks at the gutter’s end caps or downspout openings? These can usually be easily fixed with a new application of gutter sealant.
10. MARBLE TEST: drop a marble down your downspout, if it drops quickly and freely, your downspout is clog-free.
11. Does your gutter have to handle the water coming off more than one roof? Does water gather from two or three roofs and then channel into a valley or downspout that empties the water into your lowest level gutter? If so, the amount of water will likely shoot right past your gutter if it is only 5” wide and you will need to install a water handling diverter to stop water overshoot of your gutter or choose a wider gutter.
12. If your downspout is not connected to underground piping, ensure that it has an extension that is at least 3 feet long in areas where the downspout is dumping water onto a downhill area of your yard and at least 8 feet long in areas of your yard that are flat or near flat. This helps ensure water will not back flow into your basement.
13. Check your basement for signs of dampness after or during heavy rain fall, If you see signs of water this can be a sign your gutters aren’t diverting the water properly away from the home.
14. Do the shingles, or any part of the roof extend down inside the gutter? If so, water will splash back onto the subroof and cause it to decay. The gutter must be removed and re-hung in a lower position.
15. Does your gutter have inside corners? In almost every case a valley controller will be needed to prevent water overshooting the gutter at the inside corner.
When to Call a Professional
Sometimes, unfixable damage does happen. After a harsh winter, strong winds or long-term regular wear and tear you may need to fix or replace your gutter system. If you find that your gutters need a bit more than just some spring-cleaning or if you’re unsure about self-inspection, professionals will make sure that you don’t miss anything that could lead to costly repairs in the future.
If you are looking for highly skilled professionals then look no further than GutterXpress. We are a team of experienced contractors that work efficiently and with every budget. All of the jobs our teams do are done with high levels of integrity with longevity in mind. We are transparent and will only make repairs or replacements to what you need done. Everything in good condition will be preserved so that you never over pay.
To contact an experienced team of specialists today, give us a call at (585) 455-6556