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Grand Rapids Roofing: Article About Common Gutter Problems

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A gutter system is designed to protect the foundation and roof of a house. It funnels the water that falls on the roof away from the foundation below. The gutters have to be free of debris so that they can work properly. Hiring a Grand Rapids roofing and gutter professional to perform inspections is the best way for homeowners to avoid the common problems that arise in gutter systems.

There are several types of gutters, and all of them have their own life expectancies. For example, aluminum gutters last between 20 and 30 years, depending on if they are professionally maintained. Other types of gutters, such as copper, can last upwards of 50 years. Knowing the average life span of a gutter system is important when determining if the gutters simply need to be serviced or replaced completely.

The two most common problems with gutters are leaks and clogs. Leaks are typically the result of physical damage. This can happen in a number of ways, but it is commonly due to the physical impact from ladders. While trained professionals know the proper way to place ladders against gutters without causing damage, homeowners can easily damage them by leaning a ladder against them. Another way that gutters can be damaged physically is from rusting. This only occurs in metal gutters and is more common when they are clogged because water sits in them for long periods of time without drying.

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Debris accumulation, however, is the leading cause of gutter problems. Loose debris that makes its way into a gutter system quickly starts to decompose if it isn't removed. This creates a matted down compression of material that blocks the entrance to the downspout. When the water can't properly drain out of the gutters, it will start to pool on the roof. This causes an accelerated decomposition of the gutters in addition to the roof covering. It can also lead to leaks, since the roof covering isn't designed to protect against upward water flow.

Once gutters are clogged, there are many issues that can arise. One of the most common is cracking in the home's foundation. This is the result of a cascading effect, as water rolls over the top of the gutters instead of down the downspout. It can also cause soil erosion due to the impact of the water that falls from the roof. Another common issue is fascia dry rot. This area of the roofing system isn't designed to withstand moisture penetration, and it can experience damage if the gutters become clogged.

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