The joys of home ownership!

As a home inspector in the Stillwater MN area, I always make a point of looking into the gutters on a house. The gutters perform an important roll in water management, but only if they function properly.

 Clearly, the only way for gutters to do their important job is to be, well, clear.  IS their job important? I’LL say!

Gutters and downspouts take all of the rain that lands on the roof and delivers it to a place several feet from the foundation. Is it a lot of water? Uh, huh. I Googled it. From an average roof, for every inch of rain, you can expect 1,200 gallons of water! Almost all of a house’s water problems come from surface water (rain). Some water gets through the walls and gets stuff in the basement wet. Stuff like carpet and sheet rock. Moisture also helps mold to grow. It’s not an exaggeration to say that water where we don’t want it is the biggest issue facing home owners.

As tree leaves decompose on the gutters, they provide moisture and other nutrients to seeds. They in turn grow, thus gaining mass. The weight on the gutters causes them to move. No good.

So, clean your gutters. One handy tool is an old plastic spatula, which is easy to cut to size with tin snips and easy to clean. Another, (less handy) tool is a drain auger that attaches to your drill. Use it from the ground, running it up the downspouts to free up plugs.

Consider installing a gutter guard. They work well. Gutter screens work too. although not as well, because tree seeds can still get stuck and start to grow.

I learned a lot of stuff about this article by watching a YouTube from Lowe’s. You can see what I saw by clicking: Here.

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About the author

Joe has many years of experience as a Home Inspector. Joe is a proud member of ASHI, MAHI, WAHI & SAAR. He follows the Best Practices as described by the American Association of Home Inspectors and the Wisconsin Association of Home Inspectors. He is licensed in Wisconsin and is Radon Certified. Joe also complies with ASHI's Code of Ethics.

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