Why Keep Your Gutters Clean

Why Keep Your Gutters Clean

6 Important Reasons Why You Need To Keep Your Gutters Clean

Gutters – most people have them and don’t even think twice about them. But gutters are just as important as your front door! They protect your home from many things, including water damage, erosion, flooding, infestations, and more! However, for gutters to do their job efficiently, they must stay clean. 

We know gutter cleaning is one of the most inconvenient cleaning jobs out there, so if you need a little motivation to get your gutters in tip-top shape this year, here are six critical reasons you need to keep your gutters clean!

Why You Need To Keep Your Gutters Clean

A clean gutter is a healthy, long-lasting gutter. When gutters are full of debris, water can back up in the gutter system and become trapped. When water is trapped in one spot, it puts additional pressure on gutter joints, and all that wet debris can weigh gutters down. Over time, this can lead to cracks, rusting, and leaks that threaten the lifespan of your entire gutter system.

The only thing worse than cleaning gutters is putting in new ones. If you keep them clean, they’ll be around for a long time, and you can avoid investing in new ones for years. Read on to learn more about why you need to keep your gutters clean. 

1. Prevent Wood Rot and Mold

One of the main jobs of gutters and downspouts is to keep rainwater flowing away from your house. When gutters are full of leaves and other debris, water can’t flow through them away from your home. This can lead to damp conditions around your house, causing mold and wood rot around the fascia of your home — the part of your roof where your gutters are typically attached.

Mold is troublesome for obvious reasons – it can cause health problems and is often difficult to see and get rid of. Wood rot is more obvious. When your fascia boards begin to rot, they compromise the structure of your gutter system, leading to more expensive problems.

2. Avoid Ice Dams

Ice dams can occur in cold climates when heavy snow buildup melts during the day and then refreezes when temperatures drop overnight. If your home struggles with ice dams, like many homes in Holland and Michigan’s other lake-effect regions, cleaning your gutters is one way to keep them at bay.

When there’s debris in your gutters, it’s easier for icicles to form and build up back on your roof. Clean gutters, on the other hand, make it easy for melted snow to slide safely away from your home, helping you keep out ice dams.

3. Keep Your Basement Dry

Many homes in Michigan struggle with basement flooding, especially in the spring, as the snow melts and excess water sits around your foundation. What you might not know is that clogged gutters can also be to blame for water in your basement.

Water spills over the gutter’s sides when gutters are clogged, rather than traveling down the downspout and away from your home. This means that all of that water is heading right for your foundation. When everything’s already damp and muddy in the spring, this can be just too much for your foundation to keep up with, which is how you end up with water in your basement.

4. Protect Your Siding

Cleaning your gutters also helps protect and prolong the life of your house siding. Clean gutters direct water away from your house, while clogged gutters can cause water to spill out and over the gutter – hitting the house. When water is constantly dripping down your siding, rather than being directed away, you end up with water damage to your home.

Water will find its way and seep into cracks in vinyl siding, causing wood rot on homes with a cedar shake or log exterior. Either way, the simple solution is to keep those gutters clean.

5. Steer Clear of Insect Infestations

We’ve already gone over the fact that dirty gutters can allow water damage to occur to the inside and outside of your home. But did you know that dampness and debris attract insects?

Not cleaning out your gutters invites insects and other pests to make a home there. Eventually, they can find their way into your home, primarily if leaky gutters have caused foundation damage.  

6. Keep Your Insurance Rates Low

Depending on your insurance provider, updated gutter systems could potentially decrease the cost of your property insurance. So keeping your gutters clean won’t only save you money for possible repairs and damage, but it will also save you money on your monthly insurance bill. 

Keep in mind, if your gutters are clogged due to a lack of cleaning, and it causes damage to your property, it’s more than likely insurance won’t cover it. So, all in all, clean gutters = spending less money. 

Werner Roofing Is Here To Help

Cleaning gutters can be a long, challenging, and dirty job. Even when you know why you should keep your gutters clean, it can still be difficult to get up there and do the work. If you’re not up to cleaning your gutters this season, get in touch with the Werner Roofing professionals.

We’re happy to clean your gutters and inspect your roof to ensure it’s in perfect condition for the rest of the year. Whether you’re in Holland, Muskegon, or elsewhere on the lakeshore, we’d love to help. Give us a call at 616-844-5382 or contact us online for a free estimate today!

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OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

How to Repair Gutter Leaks

How to Repair Gutter Leaks

The main function of gutters is to protect your home from rainwater. They help redirect the water away from your home in an effort to prevent a variety of costly damages, such as a flooded foundation or basement, damaged paint and siding, mold and mildew growth, and ruined landscaping. 

But if your gutters have one or more leaks, they can’t do their job. In fact, even the smallest leaks can result in some form of water damage. Therefore, it’s important to perform routine checkups to see if there are any constant drips or streams of water coming from them. And in the chance you do find a gutter leak, here’s how to repair it. 

Identify the Cause of the Gutter Leak

Just like any other problem, the first step to repairing a gutter leak is to determine the cause of it. Usually, a gutter leak is the result of one of these four factors:

Cracks and Holes

Your gutters experience a lot of wear and tear while they’re exposed to extreme weather conditions. Whether a tree branch falls on them or the paint falls off and causes them to rust, your gutters can develop a number of cracks and holes. 

Clogs

One of the most common causes of leaking gutters is clogs. When your gutters accumulate leaves, branches, debris, and even animal remains, all those things build up to form a wet mass that blocks water. If water can’t flow down and out of your gutters, it causes an overflow that has the same consequences as a leak.

Loose Fasteners

Usually, your gutters are attached to your home’s fascia boards using some type of fastener. Whether it be a nail, screw, or something else, those fasteners can loosen, leading to small leaks developing around the fastener and water pouring out onto the fascia. 

Separated Seams or Joints

If you have sectional gutters, the seams and joints connecting each section tend to wear down and separate over time, eventually causing a leak. Often, this problem can be spotted even when there’s no water dripping or streaming out of them. In other cases, the separation will be so small that you can only notice it after water is poured in. 

Fix the Problem

Once you’ve determined the cause of the leak, you can figure out the best way to repair your gutters. Luckily, the solutions to each of the problems above are fairly simple. 

  • For cracks and holes, you can use a waterproof gutter caulk or sealant to cover them up. 
  • For clogs, you can remove the buildup in your gutter and remember to clean them out every year in the future. 
  • For loose fasteners, you can simply tighten or replace the fasteners. 
  • For separated seams and joints, you can reattach and seal the joints with a waterproof gutter caulk or sealant. Better yet, you can replace your sectional gutters with a custom seamless gutter system. 

Sectional Gutters vs. Seamless Gutters

When it comes to preventing leaks, you can set yourself up for success by choosing a gutter system that’s virtually leak-proof. Let’s talk about the difference between sectional and seamless gutters, and which one can help you prevent the most leaks. 

Sectional Gutters

Sectional gutters are assembled and attached in multiple separate pieces to form one complete gutter system. That way, if one section of gutter is damaged, it’s easy to fix because just that section needs to be repaired or replaced. 

However, sectional gutters are known for needing frequent inspection, maintenance, and repair. The spaces in between each part can easily be widened, causing damage and leaks. While they’re an affordable option, the constant attention they need can be overwhelming for many homeowners. 

Seamless Gutters

Seamless gutters are made from one solid, continuous piece of material. They’re usually delivered on a roll to your homesite, then shaped according to your contractor’s instructions during installation. Since they’re all one piece, there aren’t any spaces that can expand to form leaks  — meaning there is much less maintenance and repair needed to keep the gutters working properly. 

Aside from their leak-free properties, seamless gutters also tend to be more durable and attractive than sectional gutters. Their custom installation is proven to fit the needs of your home and stand strong for years. And with a variety of gutter materials to choose from (aluminum, galvanized steel, stainless, steel, copper, zinc), you’re able to select the one that best suits your home’s aesthetic. 

Leaking gutters can be an annual annoyance, but you don’t have to put up with it. Contact Werner Roofing to outfit your home with a custom seamless gutter system and say goodbye to the constant maintenance and headache of leaking sectional gutters.

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OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

5 Common Gutter Problems and How to Fix Them

5 Common Gutter Problems and How to Fix Them

Gutters have a big job to do. They help protect your roof and home by rerouting rainwater away from it. The trouble is, gutter problems can get in the way of accomplishing that important task, and the result can be a whole lot of damage to your roof and house. So, what do you do if your gutters seem to be underperforming? Don’t worry, you’ve got this! Just keep this list handy for an explanation of common gutter problems and how to fix ‘em.   

Problem #1: Clogged Gutters and Downspouts

Perhaps the most common gutter problem of all, clogging occurs when debris accumulates in the gutter and downspouts, blocking the flow of water and causing it to get backed up. This can result in leaks and damage to attic insulation, as well as your home’s foundation.

The weight of all that excess water, along with the sticks and leaves and other debris, can also cause your gutters to sag or even pull away from the house. Obviously, that’s not a good thing either!  

Solution: 

You should clean gutters at least once or twice a year, especially if you have a lot of trees near your home. Check for debris and obstructions following big storms, too. A simple routine of regular maintenance can eliminate this problem, and all the other problems that come with it. Just be warned though: it’s often a messy job, so don’t wear your good clothes!   

Problem #2: Sagging, Damaged, or Loose Gutters

Whether from a storm, a clogging problem, or hardware that has succumbed to the elements and deteriorated over time, sections of gutters can sag or separate from the house and joints can come apart. A saggy, damaged, or loose gutter certainly can’t do its job very well, and may allow water to get in places it shouldn’t. 

Solution: 

Sometimes, the fix for this is as easy as getting yourself some new hardware to reattach the saggy or loose sections or to secure the gutter joints back together. Other times, you may not be so lucky and will need to replace gutters entirely, depending on the damage. 

Here’s a good tip that may help to avoid the problem in the first place: Keep tree limbs cut back to at least three feet from the roof so fallen branches are less likely to cause damage to your gutters, roof, or home. Oh, and don’t forget the solution to problem #1: keep those gutters clean!

Problem #3: Leaking Gutters

If you see a constant drip or steady stream of water coming from a section of your gutter, we’re sorry to tell you, but you’ve got yourself a leak. Your gutters go through some pretty harsh wear and tear, so it’s no wonder they might sport a hole or crack here and there over time. Paint can get old and peel, too, allowing for corrosion to occur, and sealant can eventually wear off around joints or seams. 

Solution: 

Here’s the good news: small holes and cracks can be sealed with a waterproof gutter caulk or sealant, which can also be applied to seams and joints. Plus, there are patching kits for bigger holes that can be found at your local hardware store. Even better? Get yourself some seamless gutters and eliminate this problem once and for all! 

Seamless gutters are exactly that — seamless! They are customized to fit the length of your roofline and because of their design, they have no seams susceptible to leaks. Bam! Problem solved.

Problem #4: Improperly Pitched Gutters

Gravity is your gutter’s best friend, but for it to work its magic, the pitch, or angle, of your gutter has to be just right. Water needs to be able to flow smoothly to the downspout. An improper angle can inhibit the flow and cause pooling or standing water instead, and that invites all sorts of trouble. The proper pitch?  Slope your gutters at a ¼ inch for every 10 feet. And you thought you’d never use math in real life!

Solution: 

Measure and make sure your gutter to downspout is in alignment and sloped correctly. If not, try pushing it into the correct position or taking it down and rehanging it.  

Problem #5: Downspouts Draining Too Close to Foundation

Sometimes you can be so preoccupied with keeping your gutters in tip-top shape that you forget about their trusty companions — the downspouts. Besides checking regularly for clogs, you should also make sure the water dispersing from the runoff end of downspouts isn’t pooling by the foundation or basement wall. That, my friends, could have some major consequences! Believe us, you don’t want to deal with water in your basement or a compromised foundation to your home. 

Solution:

Fortunately, this is easy-peasy to correct. If your downspouts do not extend 4-6 feet from your house, head on back to the hardware store and pick up a gutter extension. This device is inexpensive and easily attaches to the bottom of the downspout so the water is dispersed far enough away to not cause any damage to your house. 

Say Goodbye to Gutter Problems for Good

Gutters giving you trouble? If you don’t want to deal with it yourself, just let Werner Roofing know! We’re happy to help you solve your gutter problems, show you some gutter options, or even install seamless gutters for long-lasting, high-performance stormwater management. Don’t let gutter problems get you down. Use this handy guide or simply give us a call.  

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

Getting Your Gutters Ready For Winter

Getting Your Gutters Ready For Winter

Though they can be a bit of a hassle, gutters really do exist for a reason. They divert rain, snow, and debris from your roof, home, and foundation, and can preserve the life of your home for decades if maintained properly. That’s why it’s so important to keep them clean, and why we keep talking about gutter maintenance. Unfortunately, neglected gutters lead to serious issues like ice dams, foundation erosion, molding of your home’s exterior, and even cracks in the foundation. The only way to prevent this is to make sure your gutter system is well taken care of. And while it may be the last thing you want to hear, that all starts with cleaning them out regularly. Here are the steps you should take this season to make sure your gutters are prepped and ready for winter:

Clear Them Out

Probably the most unsavory task on the list, you will have to get up on a ladder at some point to clean out any leaves, twigs, or additional debris. We won’t judge you if you hire someone to do this part; it’s not fun. If you do decide to buckle down and clear them out yourself, all you need is a sturdy ladder, a good pair of gloves, and a gutter scoop or small shovel. Make sure you pay attention to the corners and trouble spots where leaves are more likely to get hung up.

Inspect Gutter Seams and Anchors

While you’re up cleaning out the gutters, make sure you’re observant. You’ll want to inspect each seam on your gutters for leaks, as well as the anchors attaching the gutter to the fascia. If you see any space between the gutter and the fascia, or you spot a leak, you should call a professional to patch up the problem. Any leaks or spaces can lead to water erosion of the fascia, your siding, landscaping, and even foundation. The quicker you get that fixed, the better shape your home will be in for the winter.

Check Your Downspouts

You also want to make sure that any and all downspouts are clear, as a backup could cause your downspout to freeze and crack later in the season. This job is a little easier since you can always use a garden hose with an end attachment to blast out any clumps of leaves or debris. Once the downspouts are clear, double check that they’re directing water at least 10 feet from your house, and that water is flowing away from your home. If not, it’s important to diagnose and fix the issue now, before the weather gets worse. Water that pools up near your foundation can lead to dangerous structural issues.

Inspect Home for Any Structural Damage

It’s fairly easy to check your home for any structural damage while you’re working on the downspouts. As you double-check to make sure that your downspouts are directing water away from you home, make sure you’re looking at your foundation too. If you see any signs of staining, mold, or even cracks in the foundation, it’s time for some repairs. Same goes for the siding and fascia of your home. If you see any signs of water damage, call a professional now to get the issue taken care of before a heavy storm hits.

Install Snow Guards

Here in Michigan, we get more than our fair share of snow. If you’re concerned about the snow building up and freezing in your gutters, you should consider installing snow guards. While they’re absolutely not necessary, they are really great at managing the amount of snow that builds up in your gutters, and ensure your gutter system doesn’t experience any excessive pressure or weight due to the increase of snowfall.

Add Extensions

Remember checking on your downspouts? Well if you’re concerned they’re not directing water far enough away from your home, you might want to think about adding a few extensions. Extensions function to direct the flow of water even farther away from the foundation, easing any worries you may have had about cracks or leaks in your foundation. They also work great if you’re trying to avoid icy patches near your patio. Relatively inexpensive, downspout extensions are a quick and easy solution you can install yourself.

If you have any more questions about getting your roof or gutters ready for the upcoming winter season, make sure to give Werner Roofing a call! We’ve been in the business for decades and would be more than happy to make any repairs you need to your roof or gutter before the snow hits. Give our office a call at 616-844-5382, or request a free estimate online today!