Essential facts about roof gutters

Roofs collect a lot of rainwater that needs to be efficiently drained away. Gutters channel all this water into downspouts and drains. This protects roofs, walls and foundations, from water damage. The following are important facts about gutters that you should know about.

Style

Gutters are made in different styles, depending on the design of the home. The most popular are K style gutters. These are easier to install and generally cost less in terms of labour and materials. The half round gutter on the other hand, is a favoured design for a stylish and upscale look.

The half round gutter is easy to maintain, since it is smoother and therefore does not clog easily. The open structure of the half round gutter makes it easier to clean too. Older and historic architecture is also more suited to the traditional half round gutter.

Materials

Gutters are made from different materials. Aluminium is commonly used, due its availability and lower price. Copper gutters are also available, and are preferred for their corrosion resistance and stylish color. Aluminium gutters can be galvanised using zinc, copper or lead. This resistant coating prevents rust and corrosion, which increases durability. Furthermore, gutters are available in a wide variety of colors, to complement exterior walls and roofing.

Gutter protection

Exposure to the elements makes gutters prone to damage. Raindrops, hail, and snow fall with immense force on gutters, and can bend or dislodge them. Leaves and other debris clog gutters, causing rainwater to stagnate in them. Undrained water and rotting debris will then lead to rust and corrosion. This will increase the cost of repair and replacement of gutters. Gutters are therefore fitted with guards, filters, screens, and strainers. This is to prevent debris from washing into them and causing blockages.

Gutter Maintenance

Gutters require regular maintenance to protect them from damage and corrosion. Leaves and debris should be cleared from the gutter at least twice a year. Any leaks in the gutter should also be sealed by caulking. The slant of the gutter should be maintained, to prevent water from collecting in it. Other parts of the drainage such as elbows, downspouts and drain pipes, should be unclogged to prevent water from backing up into the gutters.

Proper care of gutters will prolong the life of your roof. This is by preventing water damage to shingles, flashing and fascia. It will also minimise soil erosion from overflowing gutters.

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