They are gutters, not planters

gutter_ downspout

Now that autumn is on it’s way, let’s turn our attention to your gutters. Why, you say? It might not seem obvious but Let me give you a quick overview.

Clogged gutters and downspouts can be a big problem. I can’t begin to tell you how often I see plant life growing from a home’s gutters. A thorough cleaning of all debris from the gutters and downspouts at least twice a year. Once in the spring and again in the fall. If there are a number of trees near your home, clean the gutters with a whiskbroom or leaf blower, even more often than twice a year. Better yet, you might want to thinks about using a leaf strainer or leaf guards.

leaf strainerLeaf strainers in all your gutters downspout outlets permit the free passage of water while stopping leaves, twigs and other objects that can cause problem with drainage.

leaf guardlIf you have trees that are close to your house, you may want to consider leaf guards over your gutters. They hold the leaves and other falling debris on top of the guard while allowing water to flow freely through the drainage system. The leaves dry on top of the guard and are usually blown away.

The pitch of the gutters is important. Gutter set on a poor roof pitch, is on of the biggest causes of roof drainage problems. Accumulating water in certain spots in your gutters, from improper drainage will build up debris and cause rust.

If fixing your gutters pitch or replacing them is a good weekend DIY project for you, you, you might want to check out this step-by-step guide to installing gutters from This Old House.

Now getting to downspouts. You system will not work unless all the downspouts are in good working order. Take the time to examine your downspout system at the same time you are cleaning, mending and repairing your gutters.

If your downspouts drain into an underground tile system, carefully check at the point where the downspout enters the tiling. Make sure it is cemented firmly into place and there is no backup or overflow.

Most downspouts empty onto a splash block. Be sure these splash blocks are large enough and high enough to, and this is key, carry the water away from the foundation of the house. Water flowing around the foundation of the house can cause expensive basement or crawl space water problems.

downspout_ extension

You can add extensions to your downspout at the elbow to carry the water farther away from the house. There are even roll up downspout sheets that extend themselves when filled with water and roll up when empty. They work del and are great when you don’t wish to see the extensions.

One last thing for you gardeners who like the idea of conserving water. You might consider a rain barrel and downspout diverter. Water from your roof fills the barrel and the diverter automatically directs water back to downspout when barrel is full.

So there you go, go and save your self some big money buy cleaning and maintaining your gutters and downspouts at least twice a year as part of your home maintenance list.

Contact us about maintaining your gutters and downspouts. We are always happy to help.