The recent wintry weather in the Atlanta area may have you wondering about the integrity of your home’s gutter system. With rain gutters, what you see is only part of the story.
Beneath the Surface
Gutters attach to fascia boards and direct rainwater away from your Atlanta-area home’s foundations. Water that runs back towards the foundation can infiltrate your basement or crawl space, providing a growth medium for mold and mildew.
In winter, ice dams cause melt water to back up by capillary action under your home’s shingles and permeate roof sheathing. This is why, rare as ice may be in the sunny South, you need rubberized water or ice shield underneath the starter strip of shingles.
Parts of a Whole
Rain gutters are a complete system. Rain gutters must be attached firmly to the fascia. Screws are better than gutter spikes. A sagging rain gutter will cause rainwater to pool instead of flow to the downspout.
Steeper roof pitches shed water faster, which means more water flowing to the downspout. Too small a mouth on the downspout and the water will flow up and over the rain gutter. This will rot the soffits and fascia very quickly.
Downspouts must also allow the water to flow well away from your home’s foundation, yet not be so conspicuous as to detract from the beauty of your home as it faces the street.
Do and Don’t
Curious about the condition of your gutters? Check them out without a ladder. If your home offers a second-story view down onto the gutters:
- Look for bends
- Look for gaps between gutter and fascia.
- Look for leaves, twigs and other debris that may obstruct the flow of runoff.
Check downspouts from the ground to see if they have pulled away from exterior walls. During winter, you can safely knock icicles off the front edges of your rain gutters if you are careful to avoid denting them.
Don’t try knocking ice out of rain gutters. Once ice dams form, there is little you can do. Make sure your attic is as cold as possible to prevent heat rising and causing melt water, which refreezes in the gutters when temperatures drop again at night. Don’t try climbing up ladders and out on your roof without taking proper safety precautions.
Contact Pro Roofing & Siding when it is time for your rain gutter repair and maintenance needs. We have the experience, safety equipment and right tools for the job.