INSPECTOR INSIGHTS: GUTTERS, AN IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR ROOF
Improper functioning gutters and leader system can contribute to water and ice backing up against fascia and under roof shingles and damaged soffits, resulting in possible discolouration or deterioration of siding materials. This can also lead to soil erosion adjacent to buildings and serious water and foundation displacement problems in basements and crawl spaces.
Flooding problems start when downspouts do not empty into a storm sewer or other drainage system that designed to carry the water away from the house. Accumulated rainwater can form pools around shrubbery or even cause leaks into the basement. If a downspout does not drain into the drainage tile, it should drain at least 6 feet from a house's foundation; however this is sometimes not possible because of a trip hazard or just a lack of space. Another cure is a concrete splash block, or a fibreglass trough.
Leaders that run into the ground normally run into underground drainage pipes that carry the water into a storm sewer or drainage ditch. However, if the underground piping doesn't hook up to a storm sewer system, you could be increasing your chances of basement problems because the water will remain on the property causing flooding.
In the lower mainland, having a lot of trees, it is a best practice to keep your gutters clear to avoid any problems. While a lot of people clean their gutters at least once a year, many times twice a year may be more recommended to ensure a proper functioning drainage system.
When looking around your property, ask yourself:
- Do I have a lot of trees surrounding my property? Should I clean my gutters more often?
- Does my drainage tile access have covers to prevent debris falling in?
- Do I have leaders that do not tie into the drainage tile? Do I need splash blocks?
Such items will help you determine what expected gutter maintenance you may have to do on your property.
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