What to Expect from Your Gutter Installation

What to Expect from Your Gutter Installation

Gutters tend to be one of those universally disliked features of any home. Sure, they serve a great purpose, but very few homeowners relish the idea of cleaning out gutters, let alone getting them replaced. Just like every other area of your home, gutters take a bit of maintenance, and eventually, they do wear out. 

The average lifespan of a gutter system is about 20 years (though you might be able to stretch that out with exceptional maintenance). If your gutters are getting close to that 20-year mark, you might be thinking about what it will take to get those old gutters replaced. Here’s what you can expect from a new gutter installation project by a quality roofing professional:

Step 1: Remove Old Gutters (If You Have Them)

Before you can put new gutters on, you have to take the old ones off. The first step in any gutter installation project is to carefully remove your old gutters and downspouts from the eaves and fascia of your home. If you’re still looking for the right roofing contractor to complete your gutter installation project, it’s always good to ask how they plan to remove your old gutters. They should be able to tell you what steps they’ll take to minimize any potential damage to your eaves. 

If you’re building a new home, or if you’re adding gutters to a house that didn’t previously have gutters, you won’t have to worry about this step! Your roofer can move right to the measurement step of the process. 

Step 2: Check for Damage

If your home did have existing gutters to remove, the next step is to check for any damage behind the old gutters. Depending on how long the old gutters were on your home, your roofing professional might find a few rotted boards or unusable pieces of fascia. These will have to be replaced before your new gutter system is installed. A quality roofer will do a complete inspection of your eaves and fascia, and make any necessary improvements before they move onto the next step of the gutter installation process. 

Step 3: Measure & Prepare

Once any troublesome boards have been replaced, your roofer can take true measurements of your home. With the old gutters off, it’s easier to accurately measure exactly where new gutters should go, where they should slope to downspouts, and what angle your roofer will have to connect the gutter corners. 

The measurement process is one of the most important parts of any gutter installation. The more precise your roofer’s measurements, the better your installation project will go, and the better the performance you can expect from your new gutter system. 

With measurements in hand, your roofing professional can prepare all of the materials they need for your brand new gutter system. When it comes to gutter installation, a lot of work can be done before actually attaching the new gutters to your home. Your gutter installation pro will measure and cut your new gutters according to their measurements, will assemble any necessary corners, and will make sure they cut out the appropriate holes for your new downspouts. 

Step 4: Install Gutters

Now that your gutter materials are all prepped and ready to go, your roofer will do the actual gutter installation. This process will take a few crewmembers, but can generally be finished in a day or so, depending on the size and height of your home. Most reputable gutter installation pros will use special screws to affix your gutters to the fascia boards of your home. Screws are better options than nails because they keep the gutters more secure.

Step 5: Install Downspouts

The downspouts are the last part of your gutter system to be installed. Since your gutter installation pro will have pre-cut holes for each downspout, the installation won’t take too much time but is critical. Your downspouts are responsible for carrying precipitation down and away from your home, where it can’t damage your foundation or flood your basement. Make sure your roofer installs downspouts that are appropriately directing water and precipitation out and away from your home. 

Step 6: Cleanup

The last step to gutter installation? Cleanup, of course! Like many roofing projects, a gutter installation can get messy. Quality roofing professionals will work hard to make sure your home is left exactly the way they found it. They’ll remove any leftover gutter pieces and components, and use a large magnet to pick up as many dropped screws and metal pieces as possible.

Looking for new gutters? Werner Roofing can help! As one of West Michigan’s premier residential roofers, we’re happy to install a variety of gutters on new and older homes. Give us a call at 616-844-5382 or contact us online today for your free, no-obligation quote.

My House Has No Gutters. What Should I Do?

My House Has No Gutters. What Should I Do?

Gutters are an important aspect of most home’s roofing systems. But some homeowners notice, sometimes after years of living there, that their home doesn’t have gutters. Whether you’re just moving into a new home that doesn’t have gutters, or if you just realized that your home has no gutters, and hasn’t for a while yet, here’s what you need to know. From understanding what rain gutters do to deciding if you need to have gutters installed, we’ve got answers to all of your gutter questions:

Understanding Rain Gutters

Before you can decide whether you need to install gutters right away, or just leave your home the way it is, it’s important to understand why rain gutters exist, and what they do. 

The most basic explanation is that gutters direct rain away from your home. A gutter system catches water from rain and melting snow as it runs down the side of your roof. Then, the gutters direct that collected water into a downspout or drain, where it can be safely directed away from your home. 

Gutters work to:

  • Keep your foundation from eroding
  • Keep your landscaping intact
  • Avoid water damage to your siding and exterior

Why Your House Might Not Have Gutters

Now that we know why rain gutters exist, let’s figure out why your house doesn’t have them.

  • Steep Slope Roof — If your home’s roof has a very steep slope and a long overhang, it might already be working to direct rainwater away from your house. Steep roofs allow rain and snow to slide right off very easily, and if your overhang extends more than a foot past the side of your home, you’re unlikely to experience much damage from the displaced rainwater, except maybe to your landscaping. 
  • Arid Environment — Homes in places like Arizona and Utah often don’t have gutters because there isn’t that much rain to protect against. While these climates might get a few heavy rains a season, it’s not enough to warrant the installation and upkeep that gutters require. 
  • Very Old Home — Gutters weren’t always as common as they are now. If your home is pretty old, say 75-100 years at least, it’s possible that they just weren’t installed because that wasn’t what builders did. Gutters, as we think of them today, weren’t installed commonly on residential homes until the early to mid-1900s. If your home is older than that, it’s possible that gutters were just never installed after your home was built. 

There are actually plenty of reasons that your house might not have gutters. If you’re worried about it, your best bet is to first talk to a roofer you trust, who can give you their honest, professional opinion about whether you need gutters or not. In the meantime, here are a few key signs it might be time to install gutters on your home:

Signs It’s Time to Install Gutters

If you’re noticing water problems in your home that you suspect are due to your roof’s lack of gutters, you’re probably right. Here are a few of the most common signs that gutters could improve the functionality and lifespan of your home:

Basement Flooding

If your home gets a lot of basement flooding when it rains, gutters could help. Depending on how your home is built, gutters could put a stop to much of that flooding. While some basement flooding is just a result of a bad slope that your home is built into, a home without gutters can allow water to pour directly down from your roof and onto your foundation. 

Small cracks and pores in the foundation of your home can then let that water into your basement, which causes the flooding. With gutters, the rainwater can be safely directed into a downspout and out away from your home, minimizing the amount of water that can seep into your basement. 

Rotted or Moldy Siding

This is a clear sign that gutters are in your future. If your roof doesn’t have much of an overhang, and no gutters, moldy or rotting siding is a key sign that water isn’t getting far enough away from your house. Instead, it’s rolling down your roof and onto the sides of your home. Then, that water becomes trapped behind the siding of your house, causing mold and rot that are bad for your home’s structure, appearance, and possibly even the health of your family. 

Installing gutters can almost entirely eliminate this problem. Most of today’s siding was meant to take water head-on, not from above. When gutters are catching the water that would otherwise be falling down on siding, and redirecting it away from your home, those rot and mold issues should stop. The gutters stop water from seeping into the cracks of the siding and allow your house to do the best possible job of keeping your family safe and dry. 

Troughs in your Landscaping or Next to Your Foundation

If you notice huge or deep divets in the ground next to your home, or in your landscaping, that’s a sign that you’re getting enough water to warrant gutters. These troughs or divets are caused by the constant pour of rain onto the ground from the height of your roof, and usually, they’re impossible to fill. Even if you do put dirt in them, over time, the rain will just wash it away. 

This can also be a serious problem for your foundation if your roof doesn’t have much of an overhang. Constant pounding from rain can erode your foundation, causing structural issues for your home down the road. 

By installing gutters, you can eliminate those troughs and divets from your landscaping, leaving you with a better looking front yard, and a better quality foundation holding up your home. 

 

Is your house missing gutters? No problem — Werner Roofing offers a variety of gutter installation options to make sure your home gets the gutters it needs before the bad weather rolls back around. Get in touch via phone at 616-844-5382, or leave us a message online, and we’ll get back to you with a free, no-obligation quote. 

5 Important Reasons to Keep Your Gutters Clean

5 Important Reasons to Keep Your Gutters Clean

Gutters. Most people have them, but nobody wants to deal with them. Once they’re up, most of us would like to just forget about them. That would be great, except that gutters need to be clean to function properly. Debris-free gutters safely direct water away from your home and back into the ground. Clogged gutters cause problems. We know gutter cleaning is one of the worst spring cleaning jobs out there, so if you need a little motivation to get up to your gutters this year, here are five important reasons to keep your gutters clean:

Protect Your Gutters

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 the gutters is putting in new ones. Your gutters are a big investment. Keep them clean, and they’ll be around for a long time.

Prevent Wood Rot and Mold

When gutters are full of debris, rainwater can’t flow through them, down, and 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 bad for obvious reasons: it can cause health problems, and worse, it’s 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, which can lead to more expensive problems down the line.

Keep Out Ice Dams

If your home struggles with ice dams, as many homes in Holland and Michigan’s other lake-effect regions do, 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.

Keep Your Basement Dry

Many Holland homes struggle with basement flooding, especially in the spring as the snow melts and more water than usual is sitting in the earth around your foundation. What you might not know is that clogged gutters can also be to blame for water in your basement. When gutters are clogged, water spills over the sides of the gutter, rather than traveling down the downspout and away from your home. This means that all of that water is heading right for your foundation. In the spring, when everything’s already damp and muddy, this can be just too much for your foundation to keep up with, which is how you end up with water in your basement.

Protect Your Siding

Cleaning your gutters also helps protect and prolong the life of your siding. Clean gutters direct water properly, while clogged gutters can cause water to spill out and over the gutter. When water is constantly dripping down your siding, rather than being directed away, you end up with water damage. Water will find and seep into cracks in vinyl siding, and it can cause wood rot on homes with a cedar shake or log exterior. Either way, the simple solution is to keep those gutters clean.

 

We know that cleaning gutters can be a long, hard, and dirty job. Even when you know all of the reasons 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 out your gutters this season, get in touch with the Werner Roofing professionals.

 

We’re happy to clean gutters and inspect your roof to make sure 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!

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!

Gutters: What’s the Big Deal?

Gutters: What’s the Big Deal?

A lot of homeowners want to save as much money as they can when buying, renovating, or updating their home. This often leads to cutting corners, and gutters usually end up on the back burner. Gutters are as important to your home as your front door! They protect your home from many things that you wouldn’t necessarily think.

Water Damage
The biggest thing that gutters protect you from is water damage. Water can be damaging to your roof, foundation, and exterior of your home even if it seeps through the tiniest crack. Though it may start as a small amount of water, over time, it can cause a lot of damage. Water can get under your roof, causing roof and ceiling damage. It can be damaging to the exterior of your siding and can get under it and cause it to rot from the inside out.

Erosion and Flooding
Your foundation sits next to topsoil, which protects your foundation from the elements. If water isn’t diverted away from your home correctly, the topsoil can erode away. This leaves your foundation vulnerable as well as depletes the nutrients from your lawn.
Aside from damage, if water isn’t directed away from your home, it’s so much easier for a flood to occur. Floods are not only inconvenient, they ruin your belongings, are expensive and time consuming to clean up and repair, and the damage that they do is lasting on your home.

Infestations and Mold
Standing water on the ground around your house will not only damage your foundation, it can also serve as a breeding ground for infestations of insects that can make their way into your home. Infestations are not fun to deal with and can even be quite expensive. Mold is the same way – with a damp foundation, cool temperatures and little to no light, mold cultures can easily spread through your foundation and even into your siding and ceilings, if not taken care of properly.

These are just a few of the (albeit, extreme) examples of what not having gutters can really do to your home. The cost of getting gutters is small compared to the many home repairs you will have without them. Don’t worry about damage to your home anymore – here at Werner Roofing, we will answer all your questions and meet all your needs!

For more information about gutters or to receive a free in-home estimate, call Werner Roofing today at (616) 844-5382 or request a free quote online!

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