The gutter is one of those features of the home that most of us take for granted. It’s not something we want to spend a lot of time thinking about, and it’s certainly not something we want to spend a lot of money fixing, improving or replacing. But the vast majority of American homeowners will face gutter problems at some point, especially those that live in areas with high levels of annual rainfall and snowfall. In fact, if you own a home, it’s almost certain that you’ll have to invest in gutters before too many years have passed.
So why are there so many problems with a feature of the home that seems relatively simple and straightforward? Here are the four main reasons why so many gutters fail long before they should.
1. Poor design or installation
A gutter system is not a forgone conclusion. It has to be designed and built specifically for each particular home. Obviously, there are standard and accepted ways of doing things, but the presence of an experienced gutter installation specialist ensures that architectural and environmental variables are taken into account. When homeowners install their own gutters without the proper knowledge or training, or when they higher a disreputable or inexperienced contractor to do it for them, there is almost no chance the gutters will hold up year after year.
2. Ad hoc repairs
Often times, there is a leaky seam or other minor problem, and either the homeowner or a local handyman makes an ad hoc repair. After a while the problem resurfaces and another repair is made. Before you know it, the entire gutter system seems precarious and problematic. Too many ad hoc gutter repairs that don’t address the underlying issue will inevitably lead to frustration and increased costs.
3. Lack of maintenance
Gutters do need to be cleaned regularly in order to work right. This is the most obvious thing in the world to many homeowners, but others don’t give it much thought. Regular cleaning keeps the gutters clear and allows water to flow freely through them. But cleaning isn’t the only aspect of gutter maintenance you should know about. Checking the fasteners and the seams (unless you have a seamless gutter) is another important task that should be undertaken regularly.
Some of the newer gutter systems on the market today can last an awfully long time. The materials and designs are getting better every year. But the vast majority of America’s gutters are highly susceptible to aging and we’ll definitely need to be replaced at some point. And when that day arrives, the most intelligent strategy is to consult the gutter specialist and determine how to best modernize your gutter system, so that it will last as long as possible without the need for further investment.
Who do you trust with your gutters?
Gutters are something we’d rather not have to think about, but in order to rest easy knowing that our gutter systems are functioning as they should, it maybe necessary to invest in a robust solution that will function beautifully for years and even decades to come. For the majority of homeowners, finding a reputable specialist is the best first step.