Water is known as the great universal solvent because it dissolves substances better than any other material. This is why some of the deepest canyons and valleys on the planet have been cut through the earth by the constant flow of a river or other water source. The ability of water to dissolve nearly anything can prove to be greatly destructive for manmade structures, however, including our homes.
If water is allowed to pool on the roof of a building, it may begin to weaken the integrity of the shingles and other structures holding that roof together. Eventually, it may drip into the home, causing potentially catastrophic damage to the interior of the home. By the same token, water that isn’t properly directed away from a home’s structure can damage that home’s foundations, leaving it further vulnerable to the elements. This is especially true in rainy climates, such as that of Vancouver, Washington, which is why homeowners in this part of the country need to invest in good gutters.
Over time, of course, even the gutter itself will weaken due to the constant onslaught of water. Or it may fill up with the dirt and debris that the rainwater carries along with it. If that happens, you may need to replace the gutter entirely. Below, we’ll discuss whom you can approach to perform the gutter replacement in Vancouver, WA, homes and how to know when your gutter’s time has come.
Types of Gutters
More than just a single installation, your gutter is actually part of a fairly complex series of structures on your rooftop, which must be carefully maintained in order to perform optimally. Of course, as part of your rooftop, the gutter also must have an element of curb appeal, which is why there are decorative gutters that you can opt to have installed.
There are several different types of gutters that can be customized to meet the needs of a specific home or other building. Most gutters are simple five- or six-inch K-style gutters, which are attached around the perimeter of a roof and lead to a downspout that carries water away from the home. Sometimes, gutters are installed on the lower edge of the rooftop, which is an equally traditional feature that may require a more in-depth installation process. For old-world-style homes that have a specific aesthetic requirement, six-inch fascia gutters are also popular.
Parts of a Gutter
On the top of your roof, there is metal known as flashing, which serves as a barrier between your roof and the elements. This is the first part of the system that makes up your gutter and serves to drain water from your roof. Generally, it’s made from aluminum or a similar low-cost, lightweight metal.
The gutter itself is usually made from multiple pieces that are connected by specialized joints. A sealant is used to connect the different parts and ensure the gutter is waterproof. The whole system is then attached to the roof, usually by being screwed directly into the roof fascia. It should be done at a slight slope so that water can drain into the downspout.
Controlling the Flow of Water
Whether it’s during a gentle rain or a heavy storm, the gutter is responsible for guiding the water on your roof away to a safe location, where it will not damage the crucial structures that make up your home.
Of course, if you live in a part of the country such as Vancouver, Washington, you not only have to deal with occasional rainfall, but heavy winds, hail, sleet, and snow may also cause the gutter system on your roof to wear out faster. Leaves, sticks, and branches may collect inside the gutter system and reduce its effectiveness.
Water may also pool inside the clogged area and eventually freeze during the winter. When ice forms inside the gutter, it may completely prevent it from carrying water away effectively. This, in turn, may lead to the water pooling under your roofing shingles and freezing there. Over time, this can compromise the integrity of the roof itself.
It’s not just the roof that’s at risk from a faulty gutter either. If the water isn’t properly redirected, it can pool around the foundations of the home. This can allow it to seep in from the lower levels as well as the roof. If you have a basement, rainwater can get in and damage the structures in there as well.
The Importance of Regular Maintenance
Many of the problems caused by a clogged or otherwise compromised gutter can be solved by occasional maintenance. Since many issues are the result of a buildup of dirt and plant matter, simply having it cleared out as part of your regular roof maintenance can go a long way toward ensuring your gutter has a long life span.
Occasionally, you’ll need to opt for more extensive maintenance than simple cleaning. Parts of the gutter may need to be replaced entirely. Often, the first part that must be replaced is the metal flashing, which can corrode over time. Other metal parts may also eventually give way due to rust and require replacement.
Eventually, you may notice that the gutter is beginning to sag from the structure of the roof. This may mean that more parts are beginning to give way and that the whole system may require replacement.
Who Replaces the Gutter When the Time Comes?
When it comes to a gutter replacement, Vancouver, WA, homeowners often turn to Interstate Roofing to get the job done. Your gutter, of course, is part of your roof and should be maintained by trained roofers. These workers are licensed and certified to operate on top of roofs safely, meaning that they can replace the gutter or any of its component parts without doing damage to any of your home’s critical features. Contact the professionals at Interstate Roofing for a quote on gutter repair and replacement today.