Benefits of Gutters on Your House
Today I’m going to tell you a story about a seemingly boring way to spend thousands of dollars. Gutters! Yeah, I know, when you move into a new house the last thing you want to do is drop that kind of cash on something you can barely see that’s so seemingly insignificant. That’s exxxxxactly how I felt. There are so many other things I wanted to spend that money on. But, here we are and gutters are actually being installed on our house as I type this. And that’s because I learned more about why they’re important. You see, when we got our inspection report back and there were a lot more “repair and replace” indications than we were hoping to see. Initially this made us a little nervous, but after digging in and doing some investigation of our own we discovered that adding gutters to the house could mitigate almost all of the issues we had. When you don’t have them, rainwater ends up collecting around the base of your house. This isn’t good for your foundation because when you have water just hanging out it’s way more likely to find it’s way into your foundation. Water’s good like that. And, honestly it’s is one of the worst things for a house. Keeping water and moisture out of your foundation/crawl space/basement is huge. The other interesting and less obvious thing that happens without gutters is that when the water falls from above, it lands on the ground and there’s splash back. First of all, that falling water erodes the ground where it hits. You can see a whole line around our house where the water falls from the roof. But then, when it splashes back from the ground onto the house or any other surface it erodes that faster as well, especially if your siding is wood. In our case there are many boards that need to be replaced because this is happening. You can also see that the porch is just starting to wear a bit as well, but adding the gutters should stop that process and I think we’ll be fine.
Gutters for Your House: The Specifics
To get the most out of your gutters start by deciding if you need them. I’d say most houses do especially if you live in a climate that gets any heavy rain (hello, South East) or if it’s common to get rain even if it’s not heavy. But, not all houses need them. So, talk to someone you trust and get their opinion. This could be an architect, a general contractor, or even a home inspector. We actually talked to home inspector a couple weeks ago who was insanely knowledgeable. And the good thing is they don’t have something to gain, if you do need work they won’t be the ones doing it so you may get an even more honest opinion. If you’ve determined that you do need gutters then get a couple quotes. Once you find the best price then you’ll want to consider if you need leaf guards. These help keep leaves out of your gutters. This is something you may want if any part of your roof is taller than one story. They’re actually more expensive than the gutters themselves, so you may initially think you don’t want them because it will save you a significant amount of money. But, we decided to add them to our second story because it’s high enough that it’s not very safe to be up there on a ladder cleaning out the gutters. Your safety is important, so don’t rule them out on price alone! Then you want to be sure that all your down spouts will drain to a spot that ultimately leads away from the house. We have one down spout that drains to a spot that isn’t ideal, so Xan has modified it a bit to drain downhill. From there you’re good to go. It really is a simple process (albeit, expensive) but it can save you soooo much trouble down the road if you have them.