When you look at a beautifully designed home, the rainware (or gutter system) probably isn’t the first thing you notice.
In fact, some homes are only protected by a gutter system on the front side, or they may not be protected at all. However, more and more housing codes around the country are requiring a gutter system for new home construction, and for good reason.
A rainware system does more than keep rain from dripping down your neck. And it does more than lend a home a more attractive and finished look. As long as a quality gutter system is properly installed and maintained, it provides crucial protection for a home: it guides the rainwater off the roof and away from the home.
Problems arise when a system begins to fail through extreme wear and tear, or through lack of maintenance.
If rainware isn’t properly installed, or isn’t inspected and cleaned on a regular basis, problems like these can begin to arise:
Missing or malfunctioning gutters can allow rain to create sinkholes or erode the home’s foundation, eventually creating small cracks and seeping in to cause mold and moisture damage, or even flooding.
Gutter fasteners, if burdened by the additional weight of leaves and moisture, can pull away from the house, and eventually can break loose. This may also occur if fasteners are spaced too far apart to support the weight of full gutters.
Left untended, gutters and downspouts can get so clogged with debris that they’re rendered useless.
Gutters that are improperly pitched can cause rain to spill over the gutter, rather than traveling down the downspout.
Mold can occur when moisture seeps between the joints or masonry and the framework.
Water moving off a roof can roll under the drip edge of the roof and seep under soffits and eaves, weakening the wood. rotting fascia boards, water damage to interior walls and ceilings, surface erosion around the home, wet basements, cracked foundations. water damages the roof, soffit, fascia or exterior trim and paint.
If subject to freezing temperatures, the water inside the wood freezes and swells, causing internal damage to beams, joists and framing.
Misdirected downspouts can cause erosion and settling of sidewalks, patios and driveways.
These types of damage can happen when there are no gutters, when gutters are damaged, or when downspouts are placed in a bad location or are not working as intended.
Any of these problems can become a major issue that is much more costly than an upgraded gutter system. Inspect gutter systems on a regular basis, and make sure they are clean from debris. And whenever it’s time for a new roof system, or when water problems are occurring, be sure to take a look at the gutters as well.