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Preventative Maintenance

 

Spring is here!!

 

Check Gutters and Downspouts

 

Spring is finally here and with the warmer temperatures comes the realization that Old Man Winter has been torturing the outside of your house for the last six months.

 

Before you break out the patio furniture and start planting your gardens, you might want to educate yourself on one of the many components of your house that may need some attention to get your home ready for a headache-free season.  Gutters and downspouts.  Why should you be concerned about these fixtures that you hardly ever see?  Hopefully this blog will help you understand the importance of gutters and downspouts. 

 

Gutters and downspouts are not expensive, and they play a vital role in the roof doing its job. For any house, it's important to remove the water that runs off the roof as quickly and efficiently as possible.

 

Definitions

An eavestrough or gutter is a shallow trough or conduit set below the edge of the roof along the fascia.  It catches and carries off rainwater from the roof. A downspout is a rectangular or round pipe.  It carries water from the eavestrough downward and away from the foundation.

 

Technical Information

The size of an eavestrough is determined by the area of the roof for which it handles the water runoff.  Under ordinary conditions, 1 square inch of gutter cross-section is required for every 100 square feet of roof area.  For example, a 4 x 5-inch gutter has a cross-section area of 20 square inches.  It is, therefore, capable of handling the runoff from 2000 square feet of roof surface.

 

Preventative Maintenance

When it comes to your gutters you have to think of the purpose they have on your house.  Gutters are meant to properly shed the water that comes off your roof and redirect it in a controlled manner to the downspout.  This is neglected quite often and can lead to costly home repairs.  If there is any obstructions example leaves and debris the water flow will be compromised and the purpose of this system will be lost. 

 

While cleaning your gutters you should also check that they are fastened properly and still maintain the proper slope or pitch to shed the water properly.  Obstructions allow water to collect and become stagnant which is never good.  Malaria and dengue are among the main dangers of stagnant water, which can become a breeding ground for the mosquitoes that transmit these diseases.

 

When replacing or fixing downspouts there are a couple of things to remember.  Downspouts are fastened to the wall of your house in specified locations with aluminum straps.  Downspouts should be fastened at the top and bottom and every 6 feet in between for longer lengths.  Important, the downspout components are installed where the upper piece is inserted into the lower one.  This makes the joint lap in a manner that the water cannot escape until it reaches the end of the run.  An elbow or a shoe, should be used with a splash block at the bottom of the downspout.  This will lead water away from your foundation. 

 

Gutters have many joints throughout the entire system and need to be checked as well.  These joints are sealed with a product designed specifically for this application and can be bought at any home improvement store. 

 

The advantage we have over the battle against water is that your house has been engineered to manipulate the flow of water to your advantage.  When we neglect the regular maintenance and annual checks we are allowing water to potentially win this battle.

 

 

 Thanks for visiting!!

 

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Paul Meinzinger
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May 1, 2017
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