Gutters and Roofing

There are few things more fundamental to a home than the roof over your head, protecting you from the elements. Wind, sun and weather conditions wear down roofing material over time, so it’s important to check for damage and other issues in the spring and fall. If your home has gutters and downspouts, keeping them clear of debris and pointed in the right direction can prevent leaks and damage to your home. So keep up with those bi-annual checks, and your roof and its drainage system will protect your home for years.

Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts help direct water away from your home.

Gutters are troughs that collect water from the roof and carry it toward downspouts. Together, gutters and downspouts direct water off the roof and then down and away from the house. Caring for these elements will extend the life of your roof drainage system by many years.

Make sure the downspouts direct water away from your home’s walls and foundation. Downspouts that pour water toward your home can cause water damage to the siding, the foundation, and the basement. 

On a stucco home, have gutters and downspouts installed by a professional to prevent water intrusion issues and damage to stucco eaves.

To Maintain Gutters and Downspouts

Inspect the gutters and downspouts on your home at least twice a year, preferably at the start of spring and during the fall. The following guidelines will help you maintain the gutters and downspouts. 

1. Remove all debris from gutters and downspouts as needed. Keeping gutters and downspouts clean will help slow down the deterioration process, a major problem that eventually causes leaks.

2. Check the elbow where the gutter connects to the downspout. Remove and check the elbow, and clear any obstructions.

3. Look for the source of any leaks in the gutters and downspouts. Look for cracked caulk at the end caps and between the elbow and the gutter.

4. Look for cracked caulk at the corners.

If Your Home Is Part of a Homeowners Association (HOA)

Check with your HOA regarding maintenance, and be familiar with all HOA documentation.


You have a quality roof designed to help protect your home from the elements.

Your roof protects your home from rain, hail, snow, wind, hot sun, and other weather conditions, all of which wear down the roofing materials over time.

The roof requires simple, periodic maintenance. The best times of the year to examine your roof are the spring and fall. A springtime examination, in particular, allows you to check for any winter damage.

Care and Maintenance

Follow these care and maintenance suggestions for your home’s roof.

Checking the Roof

Remain on a ladder instead of stepping onto the roof surface to avoid damaging the roofing materials. If you have to walk on your roof for any reason, be careful not to damage the surface or the ashings.

Check for the following problems on your roof, and immediately repair, replace, or remove as applicable:

  • Loose, missing, or damaged shingles or tiles.
  • Curled, buckled, or blistered shingles.
  • Damaged supports for television antennas or satellite dishes.
  • Excessive amounts of shingle granules in your gutters. The granules protect the shingles from the sun and give them extra weight.
  • Overhanging tree branches. Branches can scratch your shingles and can fall and damage your roof structure. Also, leaves on the branches retain moisture, which can cause your roof to rot.
  • Clogged roof vents.
  • Damaged flashing. Replace any damaged flashing immediately.
  • Cracks and leaks in valleys.
  • Debris in valleys.
  • Water leaking into the attic on rainy days. If you see evidence of water, locate its source.
  • Damaged seals at the scuppers and corners on a flat roof. Reseal, as needed, with tar.

When installing a TV or radio antenna, a careless job can cause serious leaks that typically aren’t covered under warranty.

If a roof leak occurs, call a qualified roofer to make the repairs. If it’s repaired as soon as the roofing material has dried, the cost will be far less than if the job is postponed.

A qualified roofer should inspect your roof at least once every three years.

If Your Home Is Part of a Homeowners Association (HOA)

Check with your HOA regarding maintenance, and be familiar with all HOA documentation.

For more information about roofing materials, visit the manufacturer’s website.