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Leaves are falling, and many are falling into the gutter systems. The purpose of gutters, downspouts, and splash guards is to direct water away from the exterior of the home, preventing damage to walls, foundations, and landscape materials. If gutters are not maintained and monitored, it can create numerous problems with the home.

The largest problem area with most homes is where the siding and roof meet. Problems occur the gutter is not cleaned and monitored on a monthly basis. When the gutter and downspout are full of debris, the water spills over the top of the gutter and can cause damage to the eaves, rafters, siding, and quite possibly the home’s foundation.

There are ways to help prevent gutters from being a consistent threat. Some homeowners use gutter screens purchased from their local hardware store. Other homeowners have a gutter system with a solid cover over the top, which allows water to enter, but not the debris. These alternative gutter systems do not mean that the gutter will not collect debris. They will also have to be maintained and monitored; however, less than a standard open gutter system. The roof also collects debris, which can reduce its life, if not cleaned and monitored. It is always best to hire a qualified professional to do the work, especially when working off a ladder or with power tools.

There are many other important details that should be considered when maintaining a property. One important detail is to know where your home is distributing its water runoff from the gutter and downspout. This is why it is a good idea to ensure that the downspout is tied into a professionally installed sub-drain system terminating at street level. If there is no sub-drain system present, then you are relying on natural drainage around your home to divert the water away from the home’s foundation, which brings to mind another very important maintenance issue: lots and grounds drainage.

A home should always have the earth surrounding the home’s exterior foundation sloping away from the home. When the home does not have proper surrounding drainage there can be numerous issues, such as standing water in the crawl space under your home. Standing water can lead to health issues due to the moist conditions under the home that could get into the central heating duct. Not to mention decay and or settlement of foundation framing. With a possible wet winter ahead, having a well-maintained home is very important. Make sure your home’s waterproofing needs are taken care of.

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