Keeping your gutters safe involves keeping an eye on the things that might damage it, and taking appropriate action before the damage can get worse. In this blog, gutter and window replacement contractor Carolina Gutter Helmet & More shares the common causes of gutter damage.
Improper Use of Ladders — Inexperienced gutter cleaners, roofers and DIYers often make the mistake of leaning their ladder on the gutters. Gutter troughs are made from sheet metal, and despite its inherent resilience, it’s never designed to take on the combined weight of a metal ladder and a person resting on it. Using a ladder as it leans on the gutter can cause splits and cracks, which later leads to leaks. A ladder should be properly secured on the ground, and should be leaning on the siding.
Neglected Seams — Traditionally, gutters are built from 10-foot lengths of factory-shaped galvanized steel. This is why you’re bound to see seams or joints in the middle of a gutter trough in older gutters. These seams are sealed from the inside with gutter sealant, which gets worn out over time. Neglected gutter seams can lead to problems such as water flowing onto siding, windows or around the house foundations. Therefore, scraping and reapplying sealant should be done every few years. Alternatively, consider investing in seamless gutters with a gutter protection system like Gutter Helmet®.
Improper Installation — No matter how good the quality of the gutter system is, it won’t perform as expected if not installed properly. Improper installation techniques can lead to a lot of problems down the road. For example, gutter fasteners have to match the type of fascia board installed on the roof, otherwise it would cause strain on the roofing system. Gutters have to be properly sized as well. Factors such as roofing slope and local average rainfall should be taken into consideration. Hire a gutter contractor who offers workmanship coverage as part of their warranty.
Tree Branches — Make sure your trees are properly trimmed around the house. Sharp tree branches can poke and scratch your gutters and roof, which could expose the substrate to damage caused by moisture. Hire a local arborist to trim the trees without harming them. A 10-foot clearance should give you a few years’ time before the trees need another trimming. It also helps keep leaves from falling into the gutters and prevents squirrels and other small animals from jumping onto the roof.
Carolina Gutter Helmet & More is your leading provider of gutters and retractable awnings. Give us a call at (864) 877-0692, (803) 828-6111, and (828) 681-5555. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Greenville and Columbia, SC.