No matter how old your home is in Houston, your primary goal as a homeowner should be to preserve it.
Older homes require more care and preservation than newer ones. They’re often built with sturdier materials, and it can seem like these homes will stand up against anything. But they usually need more attention. Older siding needs to be replaced. Paint starts chipping, and replacing parts around the home isn’t as direct and straightforward as it could be. Older windows, doors, fixtures and other parts may not be carried any more, and the installation process may be more difficult than on a newer home with newer parts.
Though newer homes do have some modern advantages, they do require close care and attention from homeowners. Nowadays, there are all different sorts of materials used to build homes, and not all of them are as sturdy as we’d like them to be. If proper care and maintenance is taken with these homes, they’ll surely fall apart much sooner than homeowners were first promised.
Above all, the home is the biggest investment a person will make. Just like any other investment, it needs attention. If you set up a stock portfolio and then never look at it again for another 10 years, there’s a good chance it might not have grown as much as you would have liked. If you had been more careful about buying and selling based on changes in the marketplace, then you might have had a bigger lump sum.
Homes work in a similar way. When you buy a home, you want to increase its value by the time you’re ready to sell it, and in many cases, that happens naturally and without much help. Homes are the one usually fail-safe investment, but you can stifle with amount of growth of your investment by not taking good care of your home. Failing to make timely repairs and doing major repairs yourself instead of hiring a professional can all decrease the value of your home. Even if all the other homes on your block are priced high, yours may bring down property values if you let it fall into disrepair.
When it comes to home preservation, one of your key targets should be taking good care of your gutter system. Without it, your home could be in danger when the next big rainstorm hits Houston. Though the gutters aren’t as flashy as a beautiful back porch or patio or even a swimming pool, they go a lot to protect your home. Keeping them in good repair should be a big home preservation priority.
Your gutters are working harder than you know. Here’s why gutters matter so much to home preservation and what you can do to better maintain them.
Your gutter system
If you were to sell your home, your listing would probably advertise your roomy living room, that great back porch and the lovely kitchen. Those are qualities that usually excited potential buyers and get them interested in your property, but what they really should be looking at are your gutters.
Essentially, your gutter system protects your home from water and preserve it from water damage and moisture. You would think with a slanted roof that the water would roll right off your roof without issue, and while it usually does in most cases, that’s actually part of the problem.
Here are just a few of the problems that gutters solve:
- Molding roof and shingles: Water that doesn’t have anywhere to go will hang out on your roof, causing the shingles, molding and masonry to potentially rot.
- Window damage: Water falling down from your roof and onto your windows can get inside those same windows. The windows trap moisture and can damage the interior.
- Foundation erosion: With all that water falling to the earth around your foundation, the moisture will be trapped in the ground and begin to seep into your basement, eroding as it goes.
In a nutshell, your gutter system captures the water running down the roof of your home and moves it safely away from your home. Without gutters, that water would likely seep into the walls and foundation of your home, causing wood to rot in your attic and minor floods in your basement. Eventually with all that moisture, you could have a mold infestation in your home, which will lead to all sorts of health concerns. Problems with your gutter system can result in any of the scenarios described above.
Most gutters are made of aluminum, stainless steel or vinyl, and all three are pretty durable. But they can run into some problems that can then lead them to fail. Rust is always a concern as rust will often lead to holes. Holes and leaks stop that water from moving safely down to the ground. Over time, gutters can become bent if a tree branch falls on them or a particularly heavy Christmas decoration brings them down.
Leaves and twigs falling into your gutters can also clog them, and that can redirect the water in places it shouldn’t go, such as back up on the roof or down to the foundation of your home. Clogged gutters are usually the most common problem with gutters, but they are easy to fix. If you have a tall enough ladder and a free day, you can clean them out yourself. You could also call a professional like Advantage Pro Services to do the heavy lifting for you.
Preserving your older home’s gutters
Older homes offer a charm and beauty that can be hard to find in other more modern homes, and those who live and invest in older homes take their responsibility of caring for it seriously. If you preserve the gutters of your home, then you’ll likely preserve other aspects of it as well, such as your roof, siding and windows.
Your first order of business when it comes to your older home’s gutters is observing what type of gutters they are and what materials they are made out of. In homes built before 1960, most gutters were made from wood, which sounds counterproductive, and metal. Aluminum roll-form gutters started gaining traction in the 1960s as the materials became less expensive, and now metal and vinyl, or PVC, gutters dominate the market.
Hangers and connections are also important parts of gutters, beyond just the materials. They are wear out over time. Hangers can cause your gutters to droop or even bend. The connections that hold the parts of your gutters and downspouts together also wear out over time. They can rust or break, causing water to spill out onto your foundation or roof.
You should inspect the condition of your gutters, making note of any places where there may be holes or joints where water is falling down to the ground. Some materials are not as sturdy as others, and it’s a good idea to be prepared for when your materials might wear out.
If you’re really dedicated to your gutters, take a short walk around your home the next time it rains and observe how your gutters are working. This may seem silly to go out walking in the rain, but it’s often the easiest way to spot check your gutters. You’ll notice right away if something is wrong with your gutters, and you can act rather than waiting for a real problem to materialize inside.
With older homes, you should also be inspecting your roof and attic closely for any signs of water damage. Even if the roof is made of sturdy, durable materials, it won’t last forever, and it’s possible that clogged gutters could be redirecting water back onto your roof and into your attic. If this has been going on for a while, then a hole may have formed in your roof, letting water and even pests make a home in your attic.
Make a point each month to visit your attic, if you don’t do so regularly anyway, and check around for any problems. You might find water stains on the walls or floor, or you could see an actual hole in your roof. Monitoring the attic will help you catch problems in your older home before they become serious.
While the attic can tell you a lot about the health of your home, so can your basement. When too much water seeps into the ground around your foundation, you can usually spot problems in your basement first. Of course, you’ll see the obvious signs of flooding, but hopefully it doesn’t get to that point. You might first notice water marks on the walls.
One sign that there’s a problem with your gutters can be found in your windows. Have you ever tried looking out windows blocked by condensation? That condensation doesn’t form on its own. In the wintertime, water can get into the home via a faulty gutter system. The warm air inside your home absorbs the moisture, but when all that moisture in the air meets a cold surface such as a window, it can form condensation.
Condensation does more than just block your windows. It can damage the sills and interior of your windows, causing them to rot. This can be especially problematic in older homes with wooden windows because the moisture will rot the window sills and mechanics. You may have to replace your windows altogether and fight mold damage from all the condensation.
Home preservation of gutters in modern homes
Just because your home was built last year doesn’t mean it can’t have problems with its gutters.
Although your gutters are new, they can be damaged by a number of different factors beyond your control. Heavy branches and ladders can dent your gutters, and even those heavy Christmas decorations can weigh them down.
Since your home is still new, you should be concentrating on extending the lifespan of your gutters. That means being familiar with what materials make up your gutter system and how long they’re expected to last. You should also get into the habit of inspecting them yourself every once in a while.
Keeping your gutters free of clogs will be your biggest concern. Clogged gutters can lead to all sorts of problems, no matter how old the home is, so it’s important that you focus on keeping them free of debris. This will be your best strategy for maintaining the preservation of your home.
Your gutters protect your home investment more than you know. Every time it’s raining, your gutters are working hard to move water off your roof and away from your home. Without your gutters, you home would almost certainly start rotting with all that moisture.
Because our gutters usually aren’t the flashiest part of the home, they often go overlooked. Homeowners put off having to clean out their gutters, and they forget that they need to monitor their gutters, especially after a large rainstorm.
It’s not surprising to the experts at Advantage Pro Services that people don’t like to do the hard work of cleaning out their own gutters. It can be a laborious task. You need to have a ladder that’s long enough to reach your gutters, and you have to be careful in the process of steadying your gutter against your gutters. Too much for will bend your gutters. Then there’s the task of cleaning out the gutters themselves, and that can be a dirty job. All of the leaves and debris stuck in their build up, and they’re often densely packed because of the water. You also need to move the ladder all around your home as you go, which can make this process take much longer.
Luckily, the experts at Advantage Pro Services know how to help. They’ve been cleaning out dirty gutters for homes across Houston, and there’s very little that they haven’t seen. Our expert customer support has helped thousands of homeowners relax and let us do the hard work of keeping their gutters clean.
Don’t let debris make a mess out of your gutters. Give us a call today and let us know how our experts can help you keep your gutters in the best condition possible.