In this post, we’ll dive into what gutter care means, why it’s important in keeping your gutters healthy, and a few tips and tricks on how to keep them tidy and working efficiently.
What is Gutter Care?
Gutter Care is the maintenance done to your eavestroughs, soffits, fascia, flashing and roof, usually on a bi-monthly, weekly, or annual basis depending on the task and time of year. The state of your gutters can affect your home more than you would think.
Components in a Gutter System
Think of our eavestroughs as if they were the arteries of your house. Water needs to freely drain from the roof every time it rains or snows. Eavestroughs usually run the perimeter of our roofs and allows rain and snow to flow down safely.
Without regular gutter care or gutters guards in place, you’ll often encounter clogs in your eavestrough. Clogged gutters cause flooding in attics and if it does not flow away from the house, it could cause foundation problems. The soil that meets against the foundation gets soft causing cracks from within that cannot be seen from the exterior. Repairs like these can cost thousands of dollars, that is, if you catch it in time. The eavestroughs are visible from the ground and are attached to the fascia. Downspouts are attached at the corners to funnel the water away from the foundation. The eavestroughs are attached to the fascia of the roofline keeping the water away from exposed wood.
The fascia board is mounted where the roof meets the outer walls of the house. Located under the rafter tails, the fascia adds a finished look to the exterior of your home. Having this in place keeps pests like bats, birds and small animals from getting into your home. One of the most common problems with the fascia is since they are made from wood, they tend to rot if the home’s gutters are not draining properly. Repair on the fascia can be upwards of $8,000.
Your soffits are the underbelly of your gutters. They are that decorative piece that hides the a/c vent system from the outside. Like fascia, they typically are made of wood, aluminum and vinyl but as well as fibre cement and steel. Aluminum & fibre cement has become one of the most popular materials used in the industry today. The aluminum lasts longer, but it can rust & be expensive to replace if your gutters are not cared for properly.
Flashing is the shiny metal brackets that waterproof the seams of various things. Windows, chimneys, walls, vent pips, to make these more durable and to keep out mould from spreading inside if it were to happen.
The Role of the Roof
The roof is an important structural part of the gutter system. Over time old stains turn into algae, lichens & moss. These organisms eat away at shingles by eating away at organic materials if shingles hold moisture for a long period growing into moss. Left untouched, moss can cause gutters to clog, damaging the structure of your home.
Why is Gutter Care Important?
It Limits the Spread of Mould and Disease
Keeping our gutters and roofs free from debris with regular gutter cleaning is a key part of our family’s health – more than we realize. Keeping our system clean keeps mould out of the air that we breathe when we walk in and out every day. Bird feces, mould spores, and other bacteria could get through open spaces without anyone knowing and could create asthma or other respiratory issues. Diseases like histoplasmosis have been known to develop from lung infections. The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that histoplasmosis is the most common infection caused by fungi in North America but rarely gets reported.
It Protects Your Foundation
If water is pooling too close to your home as a result of clogged, leaking, or overflowing gutters, it can cause lasting damage to the foundation and exterior walls.
It Prevents Roof Damage
Pooling rainwater from blockages in water flow through your gutters can weaken your home’s shingles over time, leading to leaks in your roof.
4 Tips for Caring for your Gutters
- If you discover mildew or mould on your soffits, use a soft brush or broom and a bleach/water cleaning solution to help clean it.
- Periodically check for bee, hornet or wasp nests. If you are not comfortable or unable to get up a ladder or if the nest is too big to handle, please call a professional.
- If you are installing your vinyl fascia yourself, give yourself an extra inch or so, so you can overlap at the joints.
- If you are unable to use a ladder, installing gutter guards can keep the number of times you need to clean to a minimum.
Protect Your Home with Regular Gutter Care
If you are noticing you need a gutter cleaning, or if your eavestroughs aren’t draining properly, we recommend a professional gutter cleaning. Or, if you prefer a more long-term solution, Home Service Solutions offers gutter guard installations, so you never have to worry about cleaning your eaves again.