Types of Gutters
Roofs are designed to withstand a wide range of issues. There are certain components that are very critical to the well being of your roof. If these components begin to show signs of trouble, you can identify the issue and repair it even on your own. Doing this will ensure that your roofing system remains in good shape and that you can save thousands of dollars in repair costs. We’ll take a look at 5 components in your roofing system that need quick repairs to protect your roof from further damage.
If you take a close look at your roofing system, you’ll notice a long band that runs horizontally and is located vertically under the roof edge. Some people call it a roof trim or front board. The fascia is located along the roofline. It is usually made of wooden boards or a sheet of metal. Fascia comes in so many different designs and most homeowners select a material and finish that best complements the aesthetics of their property.
A fascia is what separates the edge of the roof and the elements of the outdoors. It especially helps to protect the roof from water damage. Fascia is also designed to keep water away from the interior of the property. Whenever there’s severe weather like rainfall, the fascia blocks the elements from getting into the structure.
Additionally, the fascia is installed to add beauty and style in the property. It plays a very important aesthetic role. The ideal fascia will add a smooth and neat finish on the edge of the roof.
The fascia has to be properly maintained and protected from moisture damage. Water is the number one enemy of a fascia especially since it’s made of wooden boards. As part of routine maintenance, look out for signs of rot or damage on the fascia and replace it as soon as you can. If you notice any issues, call an expert roofing contractor to fix it immediately.
Another important component of a roofing system is known as a soffit. Soffit is a French word meaning ‘formed as a ceiling’. It is that exposed surface underneath the overhanging section of a roof eave. In some properties, the soffit is that section below the fascia and the rafters.
One of the main functions of a soffit is to provide better air circulation. It is made up of small holes that circulate air to the vents and ensure moisture and heat are kept away from the property. A well-maintained soffit will contribute to the building’s ventilation. This component plays a critical role in properly ventilating the attic.
A soffit ensures that moisture and heat are kept away from areas like the attic, which helps to protect the sheathing and rafters on the building from rot. Soffit can be made from different materials but the most popularly used is vinyl. Vinyl is not only durable but also water resistant and affordable. If the soffit is properly maintained over the years, it can help in maintaining proper insulation especially in areas like the attic and the rest of your home. It can contribute to making your home more comfortable and hygienic. Look out for signs of cracks, holes and rot on the soffit because this can easily cause insects and other small animals to evade your home.
Flashings are very important components of a roofing system. They are installed in areas where the roofing material is interrupted or terminated. These could be areas such as the walls, valleys, drains, and perimeters of the roof. Flashings are installed in order to seal the roofing system properly and eliminate the chances of water finding its way underneath the roofing material. If flashings are not properly maintained, they could contribute to prime leaks in the roofing system. The flashings are usually assessed as part of the regular inspection to ensure they are not damaged or compromise the wellbeing of the entire roof.
Flashings come in a wide range of materials but the most commonly used ones are in aluminum or galvanized steel. The location of the flashings varies depending on the type of roof you have. They could be on the valleys, the chimney or even around the skylights.
Flashing deteriorates with time and could require a replacement. The deterioration is normally caused by poor weather and oxidization. In some cases, the flashing becomes loose and needs some quick repairs. During repairs, the contractor may cut and shape their own flashing and use it to fix the damaged areas. However, flashing can also be replaced in sections since there are some pre-formed pieces sold at the local hardware stores. These pieces can be applied on affected areas without having to use any caulking or roof cement.
Roof shingles are part of the components that are critical in most roofing systems. Shingles provide adequate protection but are prone to deterioration over time. It’s common to see homes with damaged, missing or discolored shingles that need to be replaced. When the areas with missing shingles are left open, the underlying wood is exposed to rot. Damaged or missing shingles also expose the roofing material to damage. Buckling of roof shingles is a common occurrence if they were not properly ventilated during the installation process.
Have you noticed some discoloration on your roofing shingles? This could be as a result of a roof leak. Broken, missing and discolored shingles can look unsightly and create a risk of water damage. If you have missing shingles, the water, snow, and ice are hitting your costly roofing material directly and causing severe damage. Call a roofing contractor immediately to assess the situation and offer the needed solution.
Gutters are designed to move water away from your home and prevent a host of moisture problems. A good gutter system must be efficient and work fast. It should be able to move water away from your home as fast as possible in order to protect the siding and foundation. If the gutter system doesn’t move water quickly enough or gets damaged in the process, it needs to be replaced. When it comes to gutter systems the efficiency is much more important than the aesthetics.
There are two common types of gutters: seamless and sectional (seamed) gutters.
Sectional gutters are available in 10-feet length. They come in pieces, which are attached to the home’s fascia board using hangers. The pieces can either be overlapped or snapped together. The process of installing a sectional gutter is quick and easy. It can even be done as a DIY project, especially for modestly sized homes. All you need is a sturdy ladder and an assistant to help in joining the pieces together.
You can buy sectional gutters at your local home improvement store. You may also want to invest in other items such as gutter guards, downspouts and corners that can improve the durability and efficiency of the gutter system.
Sectional gutters are available in a wide range of materials such as vinyl, galvanized steel, and aluminum. The material you choose will depend on your budget and style preference.
Keep in mind that vinyl gutters are heavy but they cannot be painted. Metal gutters especially those made of materials like aluminum are lightweight and easier to handle during installation. If you are ready to splurge on gutters, copper is an ideal material that may cost more but lasts longer than both vinyl and metal gutters.
Advantages of sectional gutters
– They are economical: Sectional gutters are quite affordable and the perfect choice for a DIY homeowner who doesn’t want to spend much on this project.
– They are also easy to handle: This means that if a section of the gutter fails, it can easily be removed and replaced without having to disrupt the entire gutter system.
Disadvantages of sectional gutters
One of the major drawbacks of sectional gutters is the limitation in terms of their style. The gutters come in standard colors of white and brown. The stock vinyl gutters cannot be painted any other color.
Additionally, sectional gutters can easily leak when water builds up in the gutter system. The leaks occur in between the sections often when there are debris and leaves inside the gutters. This can cause water damage if ignored.
The other type of gutter system commonly used in residential properties is known as seamless gutters. Property owners prefer seamless gutters mainly because they give a smoother and nicer finish. Additionally, seamless gutters present property owners with lots of style possibilities. You can choose from numerous colors that complement your home.
Seamless gutters also have minimum leakage. The fact that they don’t have sections where water can easily sip through when it builds up in the gutters makes them more efficient. Seamless gutters are formed through a gutter run out process where rolls of aluminum are passed through a machine, which extrudes the metal and forms it into gutters. When you call a technician to install this type of gutter system in your home, they can come with the machine and create the gutters on the spot. A custom gutter runout is essential if you need to install gutters that perfectly fit your home. With this type of gutter, you have no restrictions when it comes to length. They run as far as one corner of the house to the other.
Advantages of seamless gutters
The main reason why seamless gutters are more efficient is that they have no seams along the length and it’s impossible for them to start leaking mid-point.
Additionally, these gutters can preserve the look and feel of your home’s exterior. If you want to maintain the smooth horizontals of your roofline, seamless gutters will match your property best. The aluminum rolls used in making them come in a wide range of colors. You can easily find something that blends perfectly with the rest of your home design.
The disadvantages of seamless gutters
The process of manufacturing and installing seamless gutters is more complex than their sectional counterparts. For this reason, you cannot easily turn it into a DIY project. Expect to spend more on them compared to the sectional gutters. The high cost is mainly because of the labor involved during and after production.
Additionally, if an area of the gutter fails, you will have to replace the entire length. This is not true for sectional gutters as you can only repair the affected areas. If you don’t want to replace the entire seamless gutter, you can just cut out a section of it and have it replaced independently. However, this will interfere with the smooth lines and introduce the risk of leakage mid-point.
Shapes of gutters
At D’Angelo Roofing, we have installed gutters in different shapes and profiles. Let’s go over some of the popular ones below.
This is probably the most popular type of gutter shape used in the market. A k-shape gutter looks like a crown molding that is used in home interiors. These gutters carry more water than half-round gutters. They are also properly built with creases that run through the length of the gutter. A k-shape gutter is not only considered efficient but also very durable and structurally strong. It’s ideal in residential buildings but can also be installed in commercial properties.
Fascia shape gutters
Ever seen tall and narrow gutters that take up the entire height of the fascia? These are known as fascia shape gutters. One of the main drawbacks of fascia shape gutters is that they can be a challenge to clean. They come with an increased depth, which makes it hard to reach when performing maintenance/regular cleaning.
Half round shape gutters
If you want a gutter system that has a traditional look, this is it. Half round shape gutters are usually made of copper. They are often found in historic buildings or properties that want to maintain a traditional look and feel. These gutters are designed to carry less water compared to other types like the k-shape profile. They also extend far out from the fascia, which means that they are very wide and tall in length.
Common types of gutter problems
Have you noticed gutter problems in your property? Fortunately, gutter servicing and repairs can be turned into a DIY project and fixed by the homeowner. One common issue that you are likely to experience with the gutter system is clogging. When debris, leaves, and dust build up in the gutter and downspouts, it needs to be cleaned immediately because it’s interfering with the water flow. Additionally, the excess weight of leaves and standing water in the gutters can cause them to sag and in some cases, detach completely from the roof, which is a safety concern.
When the gutter sags and pulls away from the fascia, it could be due to the weight of water that’s accumulated due to clogging or an issue with the hangers, which secure the gutters to the fascia. These hangers become worn out over time and need replacement. They may not support the full weight of the gutters and contribute to sagging. Replacing the hangers on your gutters is not a complex process.
Another issue you are likely to experience is seals or holes in the gutters. This you can easily fill using some caulk or gutter sealant. If the holes are too large, you will probably need to patch the area.
As you repair your gutters, ensure that they are pitched in the right direction (towards the downspouts so that the water flows properly away from your building). The general guideline is to pitch the gutters at a minimum of a quarter inch slope for every 10 feet. One of the ways to tell if you have enough pitch is if you constantly notice standing water in the gutters. Your downspouts must be extended to 4 or 5 feet from the house. This helps to ensure that water flows away from your building especially the basement. You may also want to invest in a gutter extension that helps to protect your foundation.
What are gutter extensions?
A gutter extension, also known as a downspout extension is that component installed at the end of a downspout that helps to drive water away from your foundation. This is an extension of the downspout that prevents pooling water from finding its way into your basement especially through cracks and joints. There are cases where the water cannot drain away once it comes out through the downspout. Instead, it pools at the base of your home. With this extension, you can rest assured that your roof, siding, and foundation are protected from pooling water.
The dangers of pooling water
Pooling water can cause havoc in your building. If you work on your landscape such as a lawn or flowerbed, the pooling water can lead to erosion. Additionally, when water collects below your walls, it can cause cracks in your foundation. The water could even find its way inside the basement and crawlspaces. This moisture can bring about serious mold and mildew issues not only on your roofing material but also throughout the house. You may want to consider placing a splash block at the section where water exits the downspouts. Splash blocks work but not in areas that are exposed to heavy rainfall.
The different types of gutter extensions
These gutter extensions are made from corrugated plastic and are bendable. They can efficiently direct water away from the house to where it needs to go. They come in the shape of a pipe. Some people connect their standard pipes to the downspouts using adapters to extend the length of these gutter extensions. Perforated drainage pipes can also act as flexible gutter extensions that distribute water evenly across a large area outside the house.
Roll out gutter extensions
These gutter extensions are often found in modern buildings that want to maintain their aesthetics. The extensions are designed to automatically roll out whenever it rains. They also coil up when the water stops coming out of the downspouts. The main drawback of a rollout gutter extension is that it may not extend unless the water comes with lots of pressure. This means that the gutter extension works best when there’s heavy rainfall.
Flip up gutter extensions
These gutter extensions are connected to the downspout with a hinge, which means that they can be flipped up when they are not in use. It helps to get them out of the way and maintain the aesthetics of the building. Flip up and roll out gutter extensions are convenient options for most homeowners because it’s easy to get them out of the way especially when mowing the lawn. They are not very exposed which helps to prevent damage when maintaining the landscape.
Simple tips to take care of your gutters
The last thing you want in your property is clogging and sagged gutters, which could damage the soffit and fascia in your home. Here are simple things you can do to keep your gutters properly maintained.
- Clean the gutters: You need to check the gutter system regularly and ensure that they are clean and free of debris, leaves, and dust.
- Secure gutters: Ensure your gutters are not sagging or loose. You can use gutter screws to provide the extra support needed to prevent sagging.
- Seal leaks: Check the joints and seams of your gutters for leaks and use silicone caulk or a recommended gutter sealant to cover them.
- Repair downspouts: Keep the downspouts clear by removing leaves and other debris. Ensure that water coming out of the downspouts is sent away from your home. You can use downspout extensions or splash blocks to achieve this.
Whether you need gutter maintenance or repairs, it’s important to hire a qualified contractor at D’Angelo Roofing to offer a great service. Your gutters are critical to the state of your roof and the rest of the building. Don’t take any chances when it comes to gutter maintenance and repairs.