Avoid damage from spring rains with gutters

Published 4:59 pm Monday, April 3, 2023

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

Spring storms mean the potential for damage to homes and yards, but damage from heavy rains can be minimized through proper gutter installation. Dylan Green of D&C Seamless Gutters in Clanton said gutters are often overlooked as a necessary construction component on a home, but having them can avoid issues later.

Homes that have a yard that slopes toward the back of the house are especially susceptible to foundation issues from rainwater, if gutters are not installed, because water from the roof stays in one place rather than running to another part of the yard.

“Basically, what the gutter does is it works in conjunction with your roof … your roof will channel water into the gutter and the gutter will channel water left and right, depending on … how your downspouts are placed, to get the water away from your home,” Green said. “Because what it tends to do is accumulate, and when it accumulates, especially on the back of your house and it has nowhere to go, it starts eating into your home’s foundation.”

Water accumulated from a roof can come down with the force overtime to create holes in one’s yard as well as mold and mildew issues on siding where water has splashed.

The force of the water will also destroy any landscaping in the area, Green said.

“If you have a basement and you have water coming down off the side of your house, running along the side of your house, pooling up right there, your basement’s going to flood. It is going to start smelling like water,” he said.

Gutters help direct water away from the house, but the direction of downspouts is important to keeping water away from landscaping, etc.

“You have to plan for drains and different things like that in high volume areas,” Green said.

The best-case scenario, Green said, is for those who are having a house built or having a new roof put on to discuss having gutters with the contractor.

“Let them know that you plan on getting gutters, and they will adjust your roof … to allow for gutters to be installed more easily,” Green said. “It will save you money in the long run.”

For houses where gutters were not a part of the original design they can be added. D&C Seamless Gutters did 183 installations last year.

For many homes, the installation can be completed in one day. Green said houses that have difficult terrain would take longer.

Having gutters properly installed is important to optimal performance. Proper installation ensures the longevity of the gutters and keeps water draining properly and prevents it from flowing back onto the fascia and soffit portions of the roof and causing rot.

Properly maintained gutters can last up to 50 years. Green said gutters should be cleaned out at least twice a year, usually once in the fall and once in the spring.

Making sure any drains that downspouts direct water into are clear is important also.

“You don’t want leaves to get in there because that will clog the downspout up eventually, and then if you get freezing weather that water will freeze and it will tear it all up,” Green said.

Those with a lot of trees in their yard might need to clean out their gutters more frequently.

Green said sometimes birds and squirrels will build nests in gutters and downspouts.

If gutters develop a striped look, it is just dirty and will not impact performance.

“They tend to tiger stripe sometimes too, which is a natural phenomenon … where shingle dust and dirt will rest on the top of the lip of the gutter, and it will run down the face and create a striping on the gutter and you can wipe that off,” Green said.

Seamless gutters have become the industry standard because there are fewer connection points where there could be issues. Green said seamless gutters are cut to the full length of a side of the house, rather putting multiple pieces together.