The gutter system on a building requires the more maintenance in the fall, when leaves and other debris are most likely to accumulate inside them. Unfortunately, many businesses don't keep up with their gutters as well as they should, leading to the onset of preventable problems that result in big dollar damage. Here are two simple gutter problems that fall into that category and what you can do to prevent them.
The most common problem impacting gutters are clogs. This is often the direct result of not cleaning the gutters on a regular basis or doing a thorough job. Debris collects in downspouts and other areas causing a whole host of problems. For instance, clogs will cause water to waterfall over the edge of the gutters and get moisture on or inside the building, leading to issues such as mold, peeling paint, and rotting siding. The clog may also cause pressure to build up in the downspouts, making them burst. Water may also pool in areas, leading to rusting and other assorted damage to the gutters themselves.
This problem is fairly easy to fix, depending on the cause. As noted before, the most common culprit is failing to clean the gutters on a regular basis. At minimum, you should clean your gutters once a year. However, you may need to clean them out more frequently if you have trees around your business or the building is frequently visited by nesting animals (e.g. birds). If you don't want to do it yourself, then hire someone to do it for you, such as professional company.
However, clogs can also be caused by gutters that are two small for the amount of rain you get in your area or are not pitched the right way. This may be the case if you keep your gutters fairly clean but are continuously having drainage issues. It's best to have a professional look at them and get them replaced if that's the case.
Poor Downspout Positioning
One inch of rain on a 1,000 square foot roof can result in over 600 gallons of water rushing through the gutters. Not only should the gutters be big enough to handle this type of water traffic, but the downspouts need to be positioned correctly to drain the water away from the building. Incorrectly positioned downspouts or downspouts that are too short can cause all that water to pool around the foundation of the building and end up in the basement. It can cost an average of $4,005 to fix a damaged foundation, so fixing a downspout issue is definitely the cheaper option.
There are a couple of ways you can deal with this problem. The simplest is to install downspout extensions that funnel water further away from the building. Unfortunately, sometimes the problem is the property grade. If the ground doesn't slope enough so water rolls away from the building, you may need to have a professional come out and grade the ground around the downspouts.
For more information about these issues or help fixing your gutter problems, contact a local gutter company, such as Wrights Gutters & Guards.