The purpose of a gutter & leader (downspout) system is to collect the rainwater from your roof & direct it far away from the foundation of your house ,via leader extensions & splash blocks, or even underground drain lines. A gutter & leader system that is functioning improperly can end up contributing to water backing-up against fascias & under the roof shingles. It can also damage soffits & discolour/ deteriorate the siding materials.
Apart from this, faulty gutters & leaders can also erode the soil adjacent to buildings & cause serious water and foundation displacement problems in basements and crawl spaces. Roof gutter systems are specifically-designed to channel the rain water away from roofs.
The Roof Gutter System
- Roof Gutter Issues– Roof gutters are half open and these tend to act as collectors for leaves and debris. It is important that you get these cleaned on a regular basis. Failing to do so can result in an overflow of water and seepage into the foundation of the house; which can weaken the structure of your home. A negative gutter slope can cause water collection issues as well
- Leader Issues– The leader/downspout/drainpipe which runs right from the end of the gutter, down to the ground-level drain is crucial in keeping water away from the foundation and structure of your house. This is generally made of the same material that the gutter is made of, which lends the entire installation a very cohesive look
These leaders capture & distribute the rain water to storm-drainage systems. Alternatively, splash blocks may be used to direct the water way from the building’s foundation walls. This helps keep the moisture away from the structure and the basement free from moisture-related damage too.
Why Regular Cleaning is Important
This entire system is simple, yet effective and essential for keeping the roof and the house clear of water. The connections between the gutters & leaders as well as the leaders & storm drains have to be regularly maintained. The connections of these leaders to the structure of your house are the other maintenance points. It is important that the downspout be cleaned at regular intervals- that is the one way to ensure that your roof gutter system functions at optimum levels.
Clogging inside the leader/congestion from water-flow might lead to a water overflow in the roofing gutter and damage your roof. Over time, weather conditions may sometimes damage the gutter and leader material. In addition, debris, falling tree limbs as well as ladders being pressed against the gutters can cause a lot of damage.
This will go unnoticed unless regular maintenance is carried out by expert roofing personnel. In addition to checking for clogs, they also check the fittings and hardware for rust or loosening. Loose gutters and leaders can come crashing down in stormy weather, cause damage to the structure of your home or injure someone too. In short, roof gutter and leader maintenance is crucial in maintaining the condition of your roof, adding to its longevity and protecting the foundation of your house from water-related damage.