The Importance of Gutters: Protecting Your Home’s Foundation

Hey there, homeowners! Today, we are going to talk about the often neglected and often not-so-thought-of part of your house, your gutters. Yes, those humble narrow linings that outline the edge of your roofs.

First things first, what is a gutter and what does it contribute to the overall function of your house?

Basically, gutters are the narrow linings that run horizontally along the edge of a roof. They are usually made of aluminum or some metal material.  Gutters are open at the top to catch rainwater that flows off the roof directing it to the downspouts. 

Gutters earn most of their recognition for their performance during a rainstorm. They effectively transfer water from your roof and away from the foundation of your home. The water would seep into the soil surrounding your foundation, causing all sorts of trouble.

Why is it such a big deal if water hangs out near your foundation? People often use the metaphorical reference “the foundation of…” to describe something that is really important. It’s no different with a house. The foundation holds everything up, keeping your walls straight and your floors level. Too much water over time can wreak havoc on a foundation.

When soil gets all soggy near your foundation it expands. And when it dries out, they shrink. This constant repeating process of swelling and shrinking can wreak havoc on your foundation, causing it to crack, shift, or even sink. Yikes! And you know what that means? Big, expensive repairs. Nobody wants that headache! Gutters will route the rainwater away and keep the soil around your foundation nice and dry. 

So far, we covered what gutters do for your home when it rains. But what about when it doesn’t rain? Even when it’s dry outside, gutters help control the flow of water from your roof. You know those pesky icicles that form in winter? Gutters can help prevent those too!

Gutters can’t do it alone though. The downspout is an integral part of a functioning gutter system. Downspouts are the vertical tube-like material that connects to the gutters and distributes water to the drain. Its main function is to simply direct rainwater away from your roofs and into ground level. 

So, what happens if you decide when gutters are neglected? Well, let’s just say it’s not going to be pretty. Just like everything else within your home, without proper maintenance, gutters can get clogged with leaves, twigs, and all sorts of gunk. When that happens, instead of channeling water away, they become water traps. This can create a situation where gutters overflow and dump water down the sides of your house basically rendering your gutters useless.

Clogged gutters can lead to a whole host of problems, from water damage to your roof and siding to foundation issues. And let’s not forget about those critters! Mosquitoes just love stagnant water, and a clogged gutter is like a five-star hotel to a mosquito.

Keeping your gutters clean and in good shape is easier than you might think. A little maintenance regularly goes a long way. You don’t even need the professionals to have them cleaned. Simply grab a sturdy ladder, some gloves, and a scoop, and get to work clearing out those gutters. Always remember to take your safety precautions! And while you’re up there, give your gutters a look-over to make sure they’re in tip-top shape. Look for any cracks, sagging sections, or loose connections.

Gutters may not be the most glamorous part of your home, but they serve a very important functional purpose, from protecting your foundation to keeping your roof in top condition. Give them the love and attention they deserve, and they’ll keep your home safe and sound for years to come.

For gutter installation in Amherst, NY, and the surrounding Buffalo area, contact Amherst Roofing Contractors. 

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