Old House Journal - - Restore -

One of the sim­plest ways to pre­vent wa­ter from get­ting into the house is to keep the gut­ters clean. Clogged gut­ters make ex­cel­lent breed­ing grounds for mos­qui­toes, but that’s the least of the prob­lems they can cause. Over time, a plugged gut­ter or mis­aligned down­spout ex­ten­sion can al­low wa­ter to dam­age roof­ing, porch col­umns, balustrades, and floor­ing, ex­te­rior and in­te­rior walls, and floors. Se­ri­ous wa­ter in­cur­sions can even­tu­ally un­der­mine the foun­da­tion. > Clean gut­ters once a year in mild cli­mates, and at least twice yearly in cold ones. > Re­move dirt, leaves, and other de­bris in fall be­fore cold weather makes ac­cess dif­fi­cult, and in spring af­ter the snow and ice have melted. > Check for leaks, fail­ing joints, and miss­ing or loose sup­port brack­ets. Re­place badly rusted or cor­roded gut­ter runs and lost brack­ets. > Make sure the gut­ters are in­stalled on a slight slope that en­cour­ages the wa­ter to flow to­ward the down­spouts, which should be placed at cor­ners and at least ev­ery 50' of run. The down­spouts should di­rect wa­ter away from the house, prefer­ably with ex­ten­sions. > If wa­ter is in­fil­trat­ing the area ad­ja­cent to or be­low the ex­ten­sion, you may need to do some mi­nor ex­ca­va­tion to di­rect the flow of wa­ter away from the house.

Clogged gut­ters hold mois­ture against the house and may lead to se­ri­ous wa­ter dam­age.

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