We’ll start with the “gutter” this is the collection point of the system, which runs the length of your roof at the bottom of a pitched area. Coming down from the roofing singles, this catches all the water and funnels it down the side of the home to the downspouts.
The downspout, also known as the leader, runs down the side, usually a corner, of your home and funnels the water collected by the gutter, to the ground. This is one of the most important parts of your rainwater system. Over time this can become clogged and if left un-inspected, not drain the water and eventually pull away from the home. When we do our cleaning, we make sure that this part of the system is clean and working properly.
The nails and screws that secure the gutters to your home are called Ferrules or spikes. They are at the top of the gutters and are fastened directly into your roof soffit. These should also be inspected and secured on a regular basis to ensure that the gutter does not come loose from the building.
Because gutters are cut to varied lengths, they are capped off with an end cap on site. While often these caps are secured tightly, they can become weakened over time and should be inspected. If an end cap fails it could lead to the water coming out of the end and not going down to the ground through the downspout (leader).
If your gutter spans a large distance, you may see hangers in the middle, helping to support the ferrules. These hangers should also be inspected and secured on a regular basis to ensure that the gutter doesn’t ultimately sag or allow the gutter to come off the home altogether.
At the bottom of the gutter, you will see an elbow, attached to the downspout (leader). This brings the water from the gutter attached to your home’s eves and into the downspout that is attached to the corner of your home. During our inspection we will often remove this and clean and inspect it, making sure that debris hasn’t accumulated in the elbow.
The pipe cleats are the metal strapping that attaches the downspout to your home. During our inspection and cleaning we will inspect these to be sure that they are holding the downspout securely. Often in our area, if snow or ice gets behind the downspout it will cause stress on the fitting and possibly pull the downspout away from the home. If you don’t have a downspout the water isn’t being properly drained away from your home.