Though they often go overlooked, gutters play an extremely important role in protecting your property. Water that flows wherever it wants is limited only by gravity, and gravity can bring moisture into some pretty unfortunate places like garages, basements, crawlspaces, and behind siding. Your gutters are there to make sure water gets diverted to a place where it will not be a nuisance or--even worse--cause damage to your property.
Dirty gutters carry a lot more weight than clean ones, which can cause them to pull away from the house and develop leaks or holes
1.Types of Gutters
There are several different types of gutters on the market today. Probably the one most homeowners are familiar with are the plain, easy-to-install aluminum gutters that have graced houses for decades. These gutters get the job done effectively and with little flash, and their durability and affordability are two of the most likely reasons so many homeowners have chosen them over the years.
Galvanized steel gutters are something like a heavier-duty version of their aluminum cousins. More expensive and less prone to issues, galvanized steel gutters actually have a shorter life expectancy than aluminum.
Seamless vinyl gutters are a relative newcomer, but they've quickly carved out a market for themselves. These gutters eliminate the seams where two different sections of gutter come together--which goes a long way in reducing the amount of leaves and debris that sticks in those seams and causes clogs.
Copper gutters are about as high-end as they come. While the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors estimates the lifespan of most other gutter varieties somewhere in the 20-25 year range, they suggest that copper gutters can last for 50 years or more. Copper gutters look great and perform well, but their price tag makes them a less popular choice than other gutter types.
2.Variations in Gutter Repairs
Certainly, there are too many different individual ailments that can befall gutters to list in a short article, but the three major calls for gutter service tend to focus around cleaning out clogs, reattaching gutters that have sagged away from the structure of the house, and remedy leaks or holes.
One of the difficulties in gutter repair, however, is that different types of gutters must be fixed using different techniques. When calling for service--especially if you have copper or seamless vinyl gutters--it is important to make sure that the person who comes to your house has experience with this variety of gutter.
3.DIY Gutter Work
Aluminum gutters were basically designed to be DIY-friendly; other gutter systems were not. Holes and leaks on aluminum gutters can certainly be patched with roofing cement and/or an aluminum patch, and when these gutters pull away from the house, they can often be reattached simply by using a longer length screw than the previous one. Not every gutter repair is straightforward, however, and often times, the issue is directly linked to improper installation. A do-it-yourselfer may be able to provide a temporary fix in these cases, but recalculating the slope or other more complex processes may be required for a permanent solution.
4.Preventing Gutter Repair
No matter what kind of gutters you have on your house, though, preventing clogs (and/or removing them quickly) is probably the most effective way to extend the life of your gutters and reduce the number of repairs they will need over their lifetime. Dirty gutters are unable to perform their job, which can allow water to flow to exactly the places you do not want it to go. Additionally, dirty gutters carry a lot more weight than clean ones, which can cause them to pull away from the house and develop leaks or holes, as well.
Gutter protectors or gutter covers can be installed to keep debris out of the gutters themselves while still allowing water to flow freely, but the bottom line is: Whatever method you choose, keeping gutters clear and flowing unhindered should be a top priority.