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  Category: Articles » Home & Family » Home Improvement » Article

Don't Forget Your Gutters!

By Paul Glover

If you're planning on having a new roof installed (or repaired) and you want it to last for the duration of its warranty, then you'll appreciate the following advice on how to take care of your roof through gutter care. That's right! We said 'gutter care.' Gutters are channels placed along the eaves of a roof and they collect and carry away rainwater. Without them, rainwater will sit on a roof and eventually weakens its ability to withstand things like strong winds, hail, or heavy piles of snow. And it doesn't even matter what kind of roof you have. Whether you have a flat roof or a high pitched roof - the better maintained it is, the longer it will last.

How do gutters play into all of this? As previously mentioned, the primary function of gutters is to carry away rainwater and keep a roof as dry as possible. But they can't do that if they're clogged with debris. A clogged gutter not only holds rainwater and risks damage to the gutter itself; it will also return rainwater to the roof - often dirtier than what it originally was. That's because gutters collect water, fallen leaves, broken branches, small animal deposits (nuts, nest material, etc.), and all kinds of decomposing stuff - stuff that just doesn't belong on top of a roof!

A hired contractor, maintenance person, or handy man will help you keep your gutters clean on a regular basis. Once a year, your hired help will ladder up to your gutters, remove any covers or screens, and proceed to take out existing mulch. For hard-to-remove debris, he or she may use several tools. Even though this is the most important part of the job, it certainly isn't the least. Rinsing the gutters is another important step.

Rinsing gutters will remove smaller bits of debris that might have been missed in the initial removal - or if used as a strong blast, as with a power washer, it will remove smaller or more stubborn clogs in hard-to-reach areas. In addition , rinsing helps to identify cracks that need to be repaired.

As the last step, your contractor or handy man will inspect your gutters and make sure that they're in good working condition as well as prepared for the next set of seasons. This may entail replacing parts like pipes or downspouts, or patching holes with fresh new metal or roofing material. If necessary, an entire gutter might need replacing.

Without proper gutter care, you'll undoubtedly face a number of unwanted (and potentially costly) problems not only on the outside of your home, but also on the inside. Remember that roof's purpose is to protect those who live beneath it. If a roof is damaged, and it's not taken care of immediately, you risk exposing yourself and/or your loved ones to ceiling damage, costly insulation repair, pest problems (like birds, bats, or insects), and mold. If allowed to exist for a long length of time, mold can trigger illness and in worse cases, be the cause of certain deaths.
About the Author
Author Paul White represents A site designed to help home owners from Florida locate local home contractors with their home improvement projects.
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  Some other articles by Paul Glover
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