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DRAIN SYSTEMS 101

 Welcome to Drain Systems 101. Did you know that one inch of rainfall on the average 2000 sq. ft. home will produce up to 2,500 gallons of water? That's a lot of water. Hello, My name is Scott Tynon- Owner of Queensbury Seamless Gutters. Now that I've handed you your daily dose of useless trivia I will help you educate yourself about the gutter and it's accessories. One of the first questions you may have about Drain Systems 101 is "Can I earn college credits by taking this course?" and the answer to that is, "No". But you will gain the basic knowledge that you will need to make vital decisions about protecting your home from the elements. I will talk about the basic drain system function and answer a number of frequently asked gutter-related questions. Now, Let us move past the lecture and start learning. Let's get this class started!

 

Common Questions

 

Drain System Glossary

 

 

 

 

**Common Questions**

 

Why are gutters important?

Gutters prevent serious water damage from occurring by diverting water away from your house. Most structural damage is a direct effect of water damage caused by a lack of gutters. Water damage can erode the earth near & beneath the foundation which can ultimately cause cracking of your foundation walls. If not tended to, water runoff can lead to cracks in your walkways, water in your basement, decay, warping, or cracking behind siding and fascia, and can ruin expensive landscaping. Gutters help prevent potential injury by directing melting snow, ice, and rainwater away from walkways. In addition to preserving the structural integrity, gutters also improve the aesthetics and value of your home or business.

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How are seamless gutters better than sectional?

Gutters vary greatly. Sectional gutters are joined together by a number of connectors. The seams at the site of these connectors have a strong potential for leaks. Seamless gutters don’t require connectors therefore eliminating these “leaky” seams. The fact that seamless gutters require far less maintenance and are an overall better value outweighs the fact that the preliminary costs can be great than sectional gutters.

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When and how do I maintain my gutters?

You should inspect your gutters regularly. The best time to inspect them is during a rain storm. Look for a steady flow of water coming from your downspouts. If there is no water draining, chances are you have a blockage. Check for debris in the gutters and the downspouts. If you cannot locate the blockage, your gutters may be improperly installed and you need to contact a gutter professional immediately to avoid further damage.

If you do not have a gutter guard installed, your drain system should be cleaned/flushed, at the bare minimum, once a season and even more frequently if your home is in close vicinity to trees. Not keeping up on the maintenance of your gutters can cause damages which lead to costly repairs. Queensbury Seamless Gutters can provide you with "headache-free" cleaning and maintenance of your drain system.

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When is it necessary to replace gutters?

There are a variety of things to look for when determining if you need new gutters or maintenance on your existing ones. For instance:

* Mold or peeling paint on the exterior of your home.

*Leaks and/or water damage to your home caused by excessive snow or ice build-up.

*Your gutters are "pulling away" from your home or sagging.

*Your gutters may be sloped improperly (due to improper installation) and unable to efficiently channel water away from your home.

*Cracks in your foundation or dampness in your basement.

If you notice any of these things you should contact a gutter professional immediately. You may not need to replace your drain system in all instances but you definitely need immediate repairs.

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Can overlooking leaks in my gutters cause future problems?

Absolutely. Exterior, and possibly interior, damage to your home is inevitable if you don’t have gutters or if your existing gutters are improperly maintained. Water that drains too close to your home will flood the ground producing a variety of problems, such as:

 

*The likely occurrence of mold and/or mildew.

*The development of leaks and cracks, worsening in the winter when freezing temperatures cause the ground to expand.

*The molding and staining of interior and exterior walls and floors.

*The warping and/or bowing of interior and exterior walls and floors.

*Erosion to your foundation and/or basement walls.

 

Water damage has been known to destroy entire building structures. You can easily and affordably avoid this disaster by installing and/or maintaining a quality gutter system.

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Do gutters cause ice dams?

No. Gutters are not the cause of ice dams. Weather changes and/or ventilation/insulation issues cause melting water which eventually leads to ice dams. The most common cause of ice dams is inadequate ventilation or insulation. This deficiency allows heat to escape your home/building causing the snow on the roof to melt, run to the edge, and re-freeze, thus creating an ice-dam.

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Are there ways to avoid an ice dam?

Yes. The best way to prevent an ice dam is to remove the snow that is the source. The easiest and safest way of doing this is having a de-icing system (such as heat tape) installed.  If you don’t have a heated roof or a de-icing system and have found that an ice dam has formed on your roof, we offer snow and ice removal services but you may also want to consider having one of these products installed to avoid future problems.

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Are gutters my only option in protecting my home from the elements?

In addition to gutters, you may want to consider having leaf guards installed which protect your gutters from clogging. Drywells are a good investment that helps to avoid soil erosion and foundation damage. For the winter months, you may want to invest in a de-icing system or snow guards to alleviate the chance of ice dams and falling snow. You can have soffit and/or fascia installed in those hard-to-maintain areas for proper ventilation and protection. Feel free to call us at 518-745-4356 and one of our gutter specialists will be more than happy to assist you in finding the perfect gutter system and/or accessories to fit your needs.

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**GLOSSARY OF TERMS & FUNCTIONS**

 

DOWNSPOUTS

Downspouts, or "leaders", are pipes used to guide rainwater from your gutters away from the home in a controlled manner. Downspouts are attached to the side of the house and are typically made of the same material as your gutters.

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DRYWELLS

Drywells are small wells that are dug into your soil and then filled with stone or gravel. They collect and infiltrate run-off at gutter downspouts and other places where large amounts of water flow off your rooftop. Drywells help to control erosive run-off onto your property and reduce wear on your house by minimizing backsplash.

Drywell In Progress

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ELBOWS

Elbows are pre-finished angled gutter pieces for directing water flow.

Elbow

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EXTENSIONS

Extensions are additional piping that lengthens the base of the downspout. They are used to direct run-off away from the foundation.

Downspout Extension

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FASCIA

Fascia is a flat board the runs along the eaves of your roof. Fascia gives the roof a more finished look and provides a base for attaching gutters.

Fascia

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GUTTERS

Gutters are metal channels that attach to the fascia board at the eaves (roof line) of your home. They help to catch and re-direct run-off water away from your home, eliminating soil erosion and water damage.

Aluminum K-Style Gutter

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HEAT TAPE

Heat Tape (or cable) is a roof de-icing cable that prevents water and ice damage by providing a clear path for melting water.

Heat Tape

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ICE DAMS

Ice dams are formed when improper ventilation causes the snow on your roof to melt and overflows your gutters with snow and ice. Ice dams can cause the melted water to back up under your shingles and work its way into your house.

Ice Dam

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LEAF GUARDS

Leaf, or “gutter”, Guards are devices that are installed to your gutters. They prevent blockage in your gutters by filtering unnecessary debris while allowing the rainwater to flow freely through.

Drop-In Leaf Guard

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SNOW GUARDS

Snow guards are devices that mount to your roof to prevent snow from sliding off your roof all at once, causing damage to your property and possible personal injury.

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SOFFIT

Soffit are installed under your roof overhang and  provide your roof with proper ventilation, which helps control the moisture found in eaves and overhangs. By providing your roof with proper ventilation, you are also helping to prevent ice dams in the winter.

Soffit

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SPLASH GUARDS

Splash guards, or “blocks”, are plastic or concrete surfaces installed beneath your downspout to direct water away from your home.  

Plastic Splashguard

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