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Are Your Gutter Systems Working Correctly?

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Gutter and downspoutYour Oklahoma City home’s roof and gutter systems work together to protect your home from water infiltration. Your roof may be working to perfection, but if your home’s gutter systems are in disrepair, they could be allowing water into your attic or basement. Here are a few common gutter and downspout problems:

Gutters

Although these are the most common gutter problems they are not the only ones.

Clogged gutters

Clogs are the leading issue in gutters. Gutters must be cleaned annually and inspected to ensure no mounds of pine needles, roof granules or decomposed matter build up. If you have any doubts about scaling a ladder, hire a professional–not the neighbor’s teenager–to clean your gutters.

Sagging or loose gutters

Gutters are held to your home with hangers, gutter screws or spikes. Any of these can work loose from ice dams weighing down the gutters, heavy rains, or blunt force (a tree branch or hail).

Backflowing or overshooting gutters

Backflow means water rises up behind the gutter, potentially entering your roof below your shingles. Overshooting means your home’s roof pitch sends runoff over the side, past the gutter. Properly functioning gutter systems are wide enough to catch runoff, and mounted high enough that backflow cannot occur.

Incorrectly pitched gutters

Water flows downhill. Gutters should be tipped to allow a quarter inch drop every 12 feet. Less of an angle means water can sit and stagnate in your gutters. Good gutter systems take runoff on an express ride away from your home, no stopping allowed.

Holes and Leaks

If a particular joint or spot always seems to drip, you have a hole or a leak in a seam. While gutter sealant from the hardware store can do the trick, do not climb a ladder if you are uncomfortable.

Downspouts

Downspouts seldom leak; water is dropping vertically through them. They have three other problems:

Disconnected downspouts

In a deluge, the water’s weight can dislodge the downspout from the gutter.

Short leaders

Downspouts of properly working gutter systems empty into leaders that move rainwater several feet away from your home to prevent foundation backflow. Short leaders can send water back toward the foundation, causing basement leaks.

Loose downspouts

Downspouts can work loose from your home’s exterior walls. Downspouts should be attached at two or more contact points (high and low).

Remember to be safe when working on your home’s gutter systems. If you have doubts about ladder work, hire professionals. To learn more about quality gutters for your Tulsa-area home, contact us at Perfection Roofing Inc.

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