The ben­e­fits of in­stalling rain gutters

Lesotho Times - - Property -

HOME gutters are long, nar­row tubes used to reroute rain that falls on the roof of a house or build­ing through a down­pipe and out to the drainage sys­tem and away from the home.

This keeps the ground around the house from be­com­ing wa­ter­logged and the rain­wa­ter from po­ten­tially be­ing ab­sorbed into the foun­da­tion where it will cause se­vere dam­age to the struc­ture, as well as sur­round­ing struc­tures.

With­out gutters, rain will run down the roofline, cre­at­ing a water­fall ef­fect. If the roof has a wide over­hang, this may not be much of a prob­lem for the foun­da­tion.

While gut­ter main­te­nance can be a nui­sance, fix­ing dam­aged gutters is not dif­fi­cult or ex­pen­sive. Holes can be patched and plugged us­ing roof­ing ce­ment, while sag­ging or loose gutters can be ham­mered back into place.

If gutters are badly dam­aged, you can re­place each in­di­vid­ual sec­tion. Home gutters are most com­monly made from vinyl, steel, alu­minium and cop­per.

Why in­stalling gutters is im­por­tant Sum­mer days and nights are char­ac­terised by a much higher per­cent­age of hu­mid­ity, and can even be clas­si­fied as sub­trop­i­cal.

Why is this im­por­tant? Hu­mid­ity opens the pores of plas­tered walls, al­low­ing wa­ter to en­ter and flow through it, caus­ing rapid plas­ter rot. Pro­longed soak­ing due to rain also en­sures that much more wa­ter seeps into the plas­ter pores, leech­ing away ce­ment. Acid pol­lu­tion also de­stroys the ce­ment, which is a strong al­kali.

Once the ce­ment is gone, your plas­ter turns to sand and be­comes hy­drophilic, which means it at­tracts wa­ter like su­gar of salt.

Avoid struc­tural dam­age Build­ing stan­dards and the way we main­tain houses has changed over time.

Thirty years ago, even the cheap­est houses in­stalled gutters. Many of these old houses will still be stand­ing in a 100 years as a re­sult of this and other good build­ing prac­tices.

To­day, we build man­sions with less con­cern for good build­ing prac­tices and ex­pose huge ar­eas of wall to rain. Home­own­ers who do not in­stall gutters on their roofs can­not ex­pect their walls to last a life­time.

If not at­tended to, re­pair costs will soar - and if still unat­tended, will se­ri­ously ef­fect struc­tural in­tegrity and the value of your prop­erty.

Con­sider the fol­low­ing: 1. When it comes to in­stalling and main­tain­ing gutters, home­own­ers need to be proac­tive. 2. Home­own­ers should in­stall qual­ity wa­ter­proof­ing plas­ters that have been SABS ap­proved. 3. Take care to in­stall qual­ity mem­branes to pre­vent the para­pet tops from crack­ing and de­grad­ing. 4. Use high qual­ity la­tex primer on all the walls for ex­ten­sive pro­tec­tion and an ex­tended life. 6. Point sprin­klers away from walls so they

re­main dry. 7. Con­sider in­stalling a perime­ter drain

around your house. 8. Fi­nally, con­sider in­stalling gutters to pre­vent the wa­ter from pool­ing at the base of your house.

The com­po­nents of a gut­ter sys­tem It takes a well-de­signed roof to drain all of the storm wa­ter into the gutters or roof drains.

The gut­ter or roof drain needs to be de­signed to cap­ture all the roof drainage so that it di­rects the wa­ter into the down­spouts.

Down­spouts are pipes that carry the wa­ter from the gutters to the drain sys­tem.

The drain sys­tem com­prises a set of in­ground pipes that lead the wa­ter away from the struc­ture and into a storm drain or on-site sys­tem. — Prop­erty24

While gut­ter main­te­nance can be a nui­sance, fix­ing dam­aged gutters is not dif­fi­cult or ex­pen­sive.

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