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Roofing Terminology

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Gutters work with downspouts to remove water from your roof and deposit it away from your foundation. If your gutters aren't functioning as designed, water can fall next to your foundation and lead to soil erosion, water leaks, and possible structural damage.

Gutters and your Roofing System

Gutters are attached to the facia along the eaves on most homes and are designed to catch water running off your roof due to rain or melting snow. The gutters are installed with "fall" so that water flows within the gutter to a downspout where it's transferred to ground level. If a gutter doesn't work properly, water can overflow and fall against your home's foundation where it may eventually leak into your home or damage the basement. Take a look at this list of most common gutter problems:

  • Blockage--If you live in an area with lots of trees, leaves can fall into gutters and reduce their capacities and block drainage. Gutters should be inspected for blockage on an annual basis, and, if leaves are a persistent nuisance, you may want to have a roofing contractor install gutter guards
  • Decay--This isn't a frequent concern with today's coated aluminum gutters, but older galvanized gutters can eventually rust through and should be replaced
  • Adjustment--Gutters can occasionally get knocked out of adjustment or settle over time and impede the smooth flow of water. Gutters, especially those with long runs, should be inspected for correct "fall" at least once a year
  • Size--Some roof designs cause more water to fall into a gutter than it can handle and a larger gutter and downspout may be warranted in those areas

Roofing contractors can inspect your gutters, make any corrections needed, and may even have suggestions for improving water flow off your roof. Gutters are available in many colors, styles, and different materials.

Roofing Terms