WORKS Replaces Gutters in Wenham, Massachusetts

April 17, 2016

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Achilles was an ancient Greek hero who could stand up to anyone, anywhere and never get hurt—his only vulnerable spot was his heel. This is a quality I envy every time I play with my kids! Achilles was finally killed by a poisoned arrow through his heel. That gives us the term “Achilles heel” for any major weakness.

The Achilles heel of a house is its gutters. Gutters and downspouts lead water away from the foundation of the house, where it can otherwise flood the basement or cause frost heaves over time in a cement pad. Gutters protect painted surfaces from streams of water off the roof and prevent back splashing from water hitting the ground near the house, causing damage to porches, decks, doors, and window sills.  Once a gutter stops doing its job, mold and rot take hold and the house becomes vulnerable to major structural damage.

Gutters come in many materials:

  • Vinyl gutters are sturdy but not the best long-term choice for areas with rough winters because they become brittle with age and extreme cold.
  • Aluminum gutters are inexpensive but dent and expand/contract more than other materials.
  • Galvanized, stainless steel, and copper gutters have the longest trouble-free life but are more expensive (copper is the most expensive).

One way to prevent freezing inside gutters, which can cause an overflow when the ice melts during the day, is to run electric heating cables inside gutters and downspouts. The cables have thermostatic controls so that they only operate when necessary.

The photographs show the before and after of a gutter repair that the WORKS team handled in Wenham, Massachusetts. Our original task was to take care of roof damage on the Wenham, Massachusetts home, including priming and caulking the upper soffit and freeze board on the back of the house. But in the course of cleaning out the gutter, the WORKS team noticed rot on the facia board. We installed new metal flashing that runs from behind the drip edge into the gutter to cover the facia; we also caulked the gutter. We then finished cleaning out the gutters and taking care of any other weaknesses we found so that the existing gutters can help to protect the house for years to come.

At the end of winter and fall, examine your gutters for problems and check your foundation, porch, deck, and window sills for signs of water damage. Contact WORKS if you need new or replacement gutters. We can strengthen that “Achilles heel” on your house and help keep it structurally sound

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