Last week we told you about a little near disaster we had with a clogged downspout.
The other problem we’ve been having stems from some sort of design flaw while installing the gutter guard that was in place when we moved in. Or maybe just lack of attention to (obvious) detail. Our kitchen was an addition built sometime in the 1960s (maybe ???) and the roof over it differs from the rest of the house. The shingles are different and the drainage system is different.
The gutter guards however are the same. Since there aren’t any shingles to fold over the gutter guard, anything and everything can make its way into the gutter.
The remedy we’ve come up with is a different style guard we got at Lowes. (Durabuilt Rain Removal Gutter Protection) It has a rubber edge that acts as a seal to keep the debris from sliding down the roof into the gutter. DUH! Here’s a side by side of the old vs new as I was doing the installation.
Rather than sliding under the guard and into the gutter and down the spout, the leaves stop on top or just fall over the edge. It may require a little maintenance to keep the tops clear, but its definitely less work than what needed to be done before. If you’ve ever smelled the gunk that’s collected in a gutter, you’ll understand.
As part of our “go outside” initiative, we’ve been outside a lot. It isn’t always frolicking in the grass and catching fireflies, sometimes its dealing with gutters. People tend to make a really big deal about keeping their gutters clean. (Just Google it if you don’t believe me) I’ve always thought that those people were somewhat crazy and a tad bit extreme. We learned a pretty good lesson in the importance of routine gutter maintenance this weekend. We also learned not to trust whatever gutter guard was installed previously, or whoever installed said guard and drain spout.
To make a long story short, we’ve gotten a good bit of rain since our regional drought ended. Saturday morning, while doing yard work(which we are no strangers to), I noticed water dripping from the gutter. I hopped up on the roof, checked it out. Sure enough the gutter was filled with water. I stuck my hand down the spout and couldn’t pull anything out. Unfortunately, that meant the problem was in the spout. I climbed back down to the ground, climbed back up the ladder and removed the spout. (I made that seem fast. it was anything but a fast process) Out came all of the water but still nothing solid.
All of the solid stuff was hiding in an “s-curve” portion of the downspout. After all the water had drained, and I was able to look at the spout. Turns out this section was made of 3 sections. The middle portion had been so bent to fit inside the other two that nothing could pass. Except maybe water. Brilliant engineering! Removing this proverbial wrench in our works, and reassembling the downspout seems to have solved that problem.
Not to pat myself on the back, but I’d say we narrowly avoided catastrophe. Stay tuned for a follow up on our gutter issues.