A building’s rain gutter and downspout network are its first line of defense when it comes to limiting roof repair from ice dams and unexpected water backing up as a result of Madison WI summer downpours. A clear, free flowing downspout delivers torrents away from susceptible shingles. A rain gutter free from debris prevents damage to interior ceilings, walls and floors, too.
Rain Gutter – Downspout Maintenance Checklist
Every rain collection system requires regular maintenance. Much of which should be left to professionals – insurance company reports indicate falls from ladders are among the most frequent and most dangerous household risks. Each year more than 300 people die from falling off a ladder. Thousands more break bones and suffer additional injuries – many as a result of attempting to clean and inspect the edges of their own roofs. Here’s a checklist of what should be reviewed:
- What’s in the rain gutter? If a building is surrounded by trees, as many in Madison WI are, there will be leaves, twigs, needles and seeds.
- Debris from the deposits will be washed into the downspouts so making sure they are clear and free-flowing is critical – a clog will not only backup to the roof, it can force water down to the base of the foundation.
- Look for cracks, splits or other weak spots. Best to repair or replace before the next downpour or first spring thaw comes.
- Some roof designs just cause water control issues – consider a low-voltage ice melting system to help reduce serious build-up.
All these should be completed before the first freezing temperatures.
A Gutter Guard Reduces Likelihood of Roof Repair
It’s simple: custom guards keep debris out of gutters, and debris causes blockage and water/ice backup. A combination of debris and water is a formula for disaster.
The products designed to filter out debris are not all the same. Early designs that may be in place are more likely to fail than newer technology. Remember: Anything made of plastic and most metals will corrode and disintegrate under blistering sun and cracking cold. Even when you have something designed to shunt debris, if it’s been there too long it may be part of the problem not the cure. Consider the two basic concepts:
- Conventional, “old school” – Feature “reverse curve” engineering. In some cases these styles delay the buildup of debris and filter out larger elements but don’t make it a “water-only” situation. Eventually clogs happen.
- Latest Technology – using an application of a screen mesh that limits what gets into the gutter while directing downpours and large debris over the top.
Evaluate Today’s Design Related to Roof Repair Potential
All the glittering promotional videos show wonderful results. Remember: All these testimonials were done under controlled conditions – don’t be surprised when it appears that they all work wonders. In the real world surrounding Madison WI, there are a lot of elements working against a gutter guard performing as advertised every time. Elements such as:
- The sun’s UV rays
- Extremes of heat and cold
- All manner of leaves, twigs, needles and seeds – deposited on the roof naturally or by storms
When you look at a gutter guard system incorporating a screen mesh, look for the following:
- A substantial framework that will withstand the extremes of harsh weather. Anodized aluminum gets harder when exposed to the elements, promoting a longer service life.
- What is the mesh made of – heavy-duty surgical steel will withstand the elements and won’t rust and weaken like some lighter-grade versions.
- What is the dot or square pattern of the mesh – openings that allow anything much larger than dust particles and water will result in a jam eventually.
- Is the whole system sealed? Only a completely sealed and firmly fastened system will manage the natural contraction and expansion caused by extremes heat/cold. Expansion gaps lead to cracks and failure.
The Sims Exteriors & Remodeling staff features experts when it comes to evaluating damage potential and solutions that prevent the need for roof repair. Their expertise extends to gutter guards as well as all remodeling challenges including roofing, replacement windows, ventilation, home additions, bathroom remodeling, kitchen remodeling, basement remodeling, sun tunnels and deck additions.
Neglecting rain gutters and downspouts can result in expensive repairs to flooded basements, leaky roofs, cracked and chipping paint on exterior walls and rotting wood.
Sims Exteriors & Remodeling serves greater Dane County, including Middleton, Waunakee, Fitchburg, Oregon Verona, McFarland, Stoughton, Cottage Grove, Sun Prairie and Deforest.
Contact Sims Exteriors and Remodeling at 608-825-4500, or email us for assistance in selecting the best solution to stave off roof repair with proper gutter and downspout systems for the roof of your Madison WI home.