Why Should You Clean Your Downspouts and Gutter Drain?

Why Should You Clean Your Downspouts and Gutter Drain?
crawfordmech November 23, 2016

It’s easy to forget about the gutters and downspouts on a home when the weather is nice and sunny. But when it rains, they need to be functioning well to prevent you from dealing with water-related problems around the house. Let’s take a closer look at why it’s a good idea to periodically clean the gutters and downspouts to keep the water flowing away from your home.

Gutter Design and Installation

Gutter systems are installed onto the house to catch water from the roof and move it out away from the house. Otherwise, the water flows straight down where it can soak into the ground next to the foundation. This can cause erosion of the soil around the foundation of the house. Water can also leak into your basement and ruin carpet and wall materials.

To prevent this, gutters are mounted at a slight angle along the roof to the downspouts. The downspouts direct the water away from the house into drains or other areas that slope away from the property. Anything that prevents the flow of water through this system can cause flooding and erosion around the house.

Tips for Cleaning Gutters

This is a good activity to plan during the spring and fall as you get your home ready for the spring rains and fall leaves. The gutters may need to be inspected several times throughout the year, depending on the type and amount of rainfall in the area. Here are some reasons why clean gutters are important and where to focus your attention when cleaning them.

1. A basic cleaning removes any organic material building up in the gutter. If left in place, leaves and sticks will create a blockage in the gutter and stop the water from flowing. This is more likely if you have trees overhanging the roof where organic matter can fall onto the roof and be washed into the gutter. Downspouts are not often clogged by debris, but a child’s ball thrown onto the roof can block a downspout and keep it from draining.

2. Some homes have the downspouts flowing into drains in the ground that connect to the city waste water system. When these become clogged, you can have water back up out of the drain, causing the area to stay wet. In heavy rains, the water may flow back to the foundation. If you suspect a clogged drain, remember that we offer emergency repairs to get the drain flowing again to prevent damage to the foundation.

3. It’s especially important to keep gutters flowing if you have a metal roof. If the water level rises in the gutter because it is partially blocked, the water can lap up against the edge of the metal roof panel where rust can develop.

4. Reposition downspout extensions that have come apart so the water flows away from the house. If needed, add more extensions to move the water to an area that slopes away from the house and not toward the foundation.

5. Fix damaged gutters promptly. Any damage to a gutter can cause it to not drain the water away from the roof properly. A bent or sagging gutter may not be at the right angle to move the water to the downspout.

If you discover soggy spots in your yard near the foundation or water in your basement after a heavy rain, contact Crawford Mechanical Services to find the cause. Don’t ignore minor water leaks now — they can become major problems in the future.

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