Owning a home is a substantial investment, and for most Americans, it is the most significant single investment they will ever make. Protecting that investment means ensuring that it is well-protected from conditions that are beyond your control. The exterior of your home is constantly exposed to an environment that can easily cause damage to it. Once exterior damage exists, the interior of your home is at risk. Your home’s roof is critical to protecting your entire structure, and gutters are an essential part of your residential roofing system. A properly functioning gutter system can help protect both the interior and exterior of your home as well as its structural integrity.
What Impact Do Gutters Have on Home Value?
The relationship between gutters and home value is somewhat complicated. Even if you have a top-of-the-line gutter system, it is not likely going to increase the value of your home. However, if you have no gutters, their lack could lower the appraised value of your home. If your gutters and downspouts are not functional or are damaged, a prospective buyer might subtract the price of installing a new system from an offer on your home. Since gutters are also part of your home’s curb appeal, sagging, broken, or missing gutters that detract from the curb appeal can contribute to a lower offer as well.
Why Do Gutters Matter?
If you are wondering why gutters matter to an appraiser or prospective buyer, you should consider the intended function of a gutter system. The primary purpose of gutters and downspouts is to collect and disperse runoff from your roof. When you consider the consequences if flow cannot be channeled away from your home, it becomes more apparent why a working gutter system matters.
1. Sagging, clogged, broken, or missing gutters can allow water to flow down the exterior wall of your home. This increases the risk of damage to your siding and trim, but it also increases the risk of water leaking into the wall void and damaging the studs. Clogged gutters can also allow water to be forced under the edges of your roof covering, and this can damage your decking or allow water to leak into your interior spaces.
2. Downspouts are supposed to collect the water from the gutters and disperse it away from your home’s foundation. Without a gutter system, the rain falling next to the foundation can cause erosion that destabilizes your home’s foundation. The foundation could settle unevenly, or cracks could develop that allow water penetration to create even more damage. If you have a basement, water falling next to your foundation could leak into your basement, resulting in a mold or mildew problem that could spread throughout your home.
3. If you cannot control runoff, your landscaping could be damaged. Some plants could be stunted or killed if they receive too much water in too short a time. Others can be harmed by having their root systems disturbed by the flowing water.
Appraisers and knowledgeable home buyers understand the potential problems that the lack of a gutter system can cause. Therefore, they will assign a lower value to the home.
How Can You Resolve the Problem of Missing or Damaged Gutters?
Gutters are part of your roofing system, so it makes sense to contact a licensed roof contractor when you need to have your gutters repaired or replaced. An experienced roofing contractor knows how to determine the right gutter system for the slope and type of roof on your home, and he will also be able to help you choose the material and style that is most suitable for your home’s architecture. Not every contractor roofing Austin homes install gutters, however, so be sure to contact a reputable company with experience in gutter systems.
If you have gutters, be sure that they are adequately maintained. Whether you perform the maintenance yourself or hire an Austin roofer to handle it, here are the necessary steps involved.
1. Keep your gutters clean so that water can flow freely to the downspouts. Depending on how many trees are near your home, you may need to clean your gutters every six months or just once every year.
2. Walk around your house periodically and look at your gutters. Make sure that they are properly secured to your home; tighten or replace the fasteners as needed. Check for cracks or holes in your gutters. If you have missing or damaged sections, locate a reputable contractor who includes gutters among his Austin roofing services.
3. Make sure gutters do not allow water to pool inside them. If the slope of the gutters is not correct, they may not be able to direct all water to the downspouts. The stagnant water in your gutters can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
4. Check the positions of the downspouts. They should be directing the water away from your home’s foundation and away from any plants. If necessary, you can install extensions on your downspouts to divert the water where it needs to go.
5. Test your gutters occasionally by using a garden hose to flush them. Make sure that the water flows freely through the gutters and downspouts.
If you need help with your home’s gutters, contact Alpha Roofing. We are a leading Austin roofer serving most towns in Central Texas. Our services include preventive maintenance plans for residential roofing, roof inspections, asphalt shingle installations, metal roofing systems, and roof repairs. We are known for our honesty, quality, and customer service. To receive a free quote, simply call 512-777-1086 or complete the online request form.