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Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters are extremely important to catch water and then divert it away from your home (see Figure 3.2). Always make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear of any obstructions. Leaves, sticks, nuts, dirt, and granules from asphalt shingles can cause obstructions. Last year I cleaned my parent’s gutters, which were filled with debris. Out of three downspouts, one of them was completely filled with debris, turning the gutter into a small waterfall onto the side of the house. Check to see that the gutters are installed properly. They must be tight against the fascia of your roof. If the gutter is pulled away, water can go directly down the wall. Make sure the shingles have been installed with enough overhang to spill the water down into the gutters. You can always install a piece of metal or flashing called a drip edge that goes under the shingle and curls over and into the gutter to make sure the water goes directly into the gutter.

Next, check out the downspouts. Make sure that these downspouts are directed a few feet away from the house and keeping the water away from the foundation.

You may want to have a landscaper help you with connecting downspouts to an underground drainage system.

→For more information about your gutters, see "Drainage."

Figure 3.2

Figure 3.2 The gutter drain system removing water from the house.

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