The Honey-Do List from the Roof to the foundations, it is all about the gutters.

The sun is out!!!  It was out yesterday too!  Did you have a chance to get out and walk around the house?  How did you fare?  Water in the Basement again?

Luckily, no water in my basement this time, but I made the call to my roofing/gutter guy first thing this morning as I know my days are numbered.

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Spring has sprung and the large elm and ash trees in my front yard have dropped their seeds in my gutters and it is time to clean them out again.

If you are new to home ownership especially the new owner of an older home,  and you are not handy, the Roofing/Gutter Guy is one more “Guy” you need to have in your contacts.

A little time and attention to cleaning your gutters and checking on those shingles will save you big bucks in the end.  A walk around on my roof revealed that a few shingles were loose and some flashing at the chimney needed some attention.  Left unchecked or unattended to will result in damage.  A "Forty-Year' Roof does not mean you don't have to do ANYTHING for 40 years. It means the shingles will maintain their ability to protect for 40 years. The installation and maintenance contribute the longevity of this 40 year concept.

The gutters and downspouts tend to be the biggest 'shutout'  that we are given when it comes to maintenance of the roof.  I recommend having your gutters cleaned and cleared at least twice a year, but is really a task that should take place quarterly/seasonally as required based on the foliage around your home. And as long as they are up their with the ladder, have the roofer give your roof a check-up. 

Now, the reason we use gutters and downspouts is to keep water away from the foundations. Downspouts should be positioned to direct water away from your house.  Please be a good neighbor, and manage the water on your own property.  A neighbor’s downspout spewing water onto your foundation causes the same problems. 

Two tell tale signs that you need to get up there and clean your gutters out are:

  1. Rain water coming over the edge of the gutter and hitting the ground and splashing dirt up onto the house and,
  2. Water in your basement.

Other Problems that I have witnessed are downspouts that go into the ground to a buried pipe that directs the water away from the house.  Often, there is blockage in the connections or underground that you can not easily clear.  One remedy may be to direct that water into a rain barrel instead. 

If you have Yankee Gutters, common on older Victorian homes, they are usually made of wood and within the soffits and require even more attention. If not tended to will they will rot and increase the likely hood of pest infestation.  Pealing paint on your eaves is another tell tale sign that you have water issues.

For more detailed information, I have found the following links from Old House Journal to be useful.