How to Maintain Roof and Gutters

Last updated on July 13, 2020

Do you know how to maintain your home’s roof and gutters? These are some of the essentials to keep your home secure. Read on!

The safety of the home resides in its roof. A good roof needs to be supported, and it has its own structure in order to maintain itself in place and protect the house. It also has a lot of different parts that need to be looked after: the rafters, ridge, roof sheeting and battens, and the ceiling joists. Each one of them needs to be in good condition in order to give total protection to your house.

But if you live in rainy or snowy areas, probably the most important part of your roof are gutters. They help conduct the water and snow when it defrosts, preventing its accumulation on the roof. To have tidy gutters is important to maintain the good condition of the roof.  

In this article, we will tell you about correct gutter functioning, and how to detect problems in your roof so you can fix them sooner rather than later. No matter what type of gutter you have on your house, with this quick guide you will know exactly how to maintain them functioning correctly.

What's Inside

How to Detect Problems in Your Roof

roof

The presence of mold is a signal of the roof leaking, follow the stains of mold and look for something that penetrates the ceiling, like screws. Joints or any other structure that overlaps are other places where fluids could leak and generate mold. Look for the presence of frost, if there is any problem with the insulation of the roof, you will notice, especially in winter when frost enters everywhere. 

In a careful inspection of the roof look after any crack, the cracks could be the entry for bigger problems, if you see one of them replace the damaged piece, please don’t glue or cover the crack, it’s a short-term solution. Rust in metal or wood are clear signals that something is wrong, if water or any other liquid is leaking it’s easy to follow its trace, besides clean and replace the pieces damaged by rust, it’s important to reinforce them and fix the leak.

Clean the gutters of the roof constantly. That will prevent them to get clogged with sheets. Clogs can turn into leaks very fast, causing humidity and mold inside the house.

Keep a Close Eye on Your Gutters

gutter downspouts

There are two main types of gutters, the first one are street gutters, those are the one we see along the street collecting water and conducting it to a drain. The gutter could be at the convergence of different roads or in the sidewalk, but its function didn’t change. 

The other type is the rain gutter, the ones we have on the roof of our homes, they collect the water and prevent its accumulation on the roof, it helps prevent the damage that the damage that water could do by constantly running off the walls. The functioning of the gutters is very simple; they collect the water that runs off the roof and make it run to an eave gutter that will carry all that water to the floor.

There are three ways of placing a gutter: first, roof integral the gutter will be on the edge of the roof; second; suspended beyond the roof edge; third, structured in the wall used more like a decorative element at the end of the wall. All three of them fulfill their job completely.

Among the types of gutters, the main difference between them is the materials of which they are made. You can choose them according to which one suits better for your home and to your budget.

  • Vinyl and PVC gutters: this one is the most used nowadays due to its price and life expectancy. Being made of plastic means that the gutter will never rust or corrode, is easy to install, and is lightweight. The only problem is in warm climates; they will not melt but might get a little deformed, hindering their work.
  • Stainless steel: those gutters can be used at home or in commercial buildings. The advantage of this material is its durability, is one of the strongest materials, it will not rust, it will not expand or shrink due to changes of temperature, and will always be shining bright. The nobility of this material can offer you some customized designs. The only problem is its price, stainless-steel gutters are one of the most expensive kinds of gutters.
  • Aluminum: this is a cheaper version of stainless-steel gutters, but its change of price is a change of advantages too, aluminum is not so resistant and eventually will dent. Remember that aluminum is not thicker as stainless steel and changes of temperature could affect it, especially the warmer ones. 
  • Cast iron and copper: those gutters are stronger than the aluminum ones. The counterpart is that they rust easily. The maintenance is important to help those gutters to last. 
  • Wood gutters: used in the renovation of older structures, like historic buildings and colonial houses. The wood gutters aren’t cheap and not so resistant; they are used in those buildings to maintain their looks.
  • Zinc: is widely used in commercial architecture, they are made of zinc-coated in steel to help prevent the rust.
  • Finlock gutters: made of concrete, those gutters are used in large areas. The advantage is that they don’t have joints because they are inbuilt with the building. As time pass, that advantage could turn into a disadvantage when the differential movement of the building opens cracks and joints where damp will penetrate the structure. 

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Length: Sectional or Seamless 

gutters

Most of the gutters come in sectional parts that are fastened together during the installation. It might be a problem because where the joints are, is the place where the gutters fall and rust the most. Seamless gutter solves that problem, they are made in aluminum and its length makes them be expensive. If you can afford them and the climate where you live is not so warm, seamless gutters are a good option. 

Before installing any kind of gutter, talk to a certified gutter installer. He will answer all your questions and help you choose the best option for your home, according to its characteristics and your budget. Having a professional with you will make the installation easier and help you any time you need to do the maintenance or any repair of your gutters. 

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