With all the flooding rains in Central Florida, you would think gutters are an essential feature of every home. On the contrary, most homes have little to no guttering. One reason may be that with the sandy nature of the soil and quick drainage of the yard, many homeowners do not see the ponding. Or, it could be that most builders in trying to keep pricing down on a new home, do not include guttering on a new home. Whatever the case, homeowners should add guttering to their home once they have made the purchase.Renee Watkins from Watkins Seamless Gutters does aftermarket residential gutter installations as well as repairs and gutter cleaning. She understands the importance of a well installed roof gutter system. When asked where a homeowner should have gutters installed at their home she says, “Completely around the house.”
Renee Watkins points out the most important aspect of a roof gutter system is to keep the foundation from being undermined by water erosion. She makes an excellent point. While sandy soil is great for absorbing rainwater it is also quick to cause erosion around the foundation. Your home’s gutter system should protect your foundation from water erosion and damage.
Then there is the obvious benefit from a well installed gutter system—keeping homeowners and their guests dry. Guttering prevents people from getting wet as they enter and leave a home by channeling rainwater from the roof to downspouts. Plus, moving the water to downspouts will generally ensure flower beds and shrubs are not washed out.
The other huge benefit of a gutter around your home is that if it is properly installed it prevents the rollback of rainwater from the roof underneath facia and soffit boards, which can cause water intrusion and rot. It is like a loose lid on a drinking cup. If you tip it over, the liquid contents will articulate out and run everywhere. Without a gutter, rainwater pouring off the roof will run underneath facia and soffit boards into the home and create mold and rot issues.
One thing to keep in mind—the gutter system must be of good quality and installed properly. “We use a seamless gutter method in our jobs that prevents leaks,” says Renee Watkins. Going the extra step of using a higher quality bonding agent as well as a higher quality larger gutter is important. Residential gutters come primarily in five-inch and six-inch sizes. In this area with all the rain, the larger size is normally the better choice. Before deciding on gutter sizing, look at the areas of the greatest rainwater pouring off your roof during a thunderstorm.
How the gutter is installed will depend if there is leaking on the facia or soffit material. That is important to prevent rot and it is always good to put a screen on guttering if trees are close by. Renee Watkins says they offer gutter cleaning services, because with the senior population cleaning gutters can be awkward and dangerous for someone, even with minor mobility issues.
If you walk around your home and see water erosion from rainwater pouring off your roof, there is a good chance you need guttering. Long-term, it is a great investment for the protection of your home.
Don Magruder is the CEO of RoMac Building Supply, and he is also the host of the “Around the House” Television Show, which is hosted weekly on Lake Sumter Television. For more information, go to www.Aroundthehouse.TV.