GUTTERS & HEAT TAPE
Let’s face it, when you think about a home’s visual appeal “rain gutters” aren’t often the first thing to spring to mind. What many people don’t realize is only poorly designed and sloppily installed gutters detract from a home’s beauty.
On the other hand, well designed and professionally installed rain gutter systems not only blend into the visual aspect of a home but also protect it from the real enemy…unaddressed watershed. Rain gutters help protect a home or office from a myriad of water related problems, such as:
• Foundation damage (i.e. cracking, settling)
• Basement or crawlspace flooding
• Sidewalk and driveway pitting and/or staining
• Siding discoloration and rot
• Icy entries
• Landscape erosion
Whether you need a classic 5” K-style gutter for a single family home or 6” European copper half round for a mountain retreat we offer a wide variety of rain gutter options.
Rain gutters do require a little maintenance to keep them performing at peak capacity. If you live in or around Aspen trees or any other that disperse seeds, a semi-annual cleaning at the close of Spring will ensure that your gutters are “cotton” free and ready for the summer rains.
An annual gutter cleaning and inspection in Autumn is essential for every home. Dead leaves and the general debris that accumulate over the year can stop rain gutters from working altogether. Gutter cleanings are relatively inexpensive and are certainly less costly than trying to find and fix problems once your gutters are full of ice and snow.
Sometimes rain gutters need to be coupled with heat tape to keep them open and functioning during winter months, making Fall maintenance even more vital. Heat tape should be inspected and repaired before Winter sets in. Heat tape also prevents gutters from becoming “ice loaded”; a condition that can lead to buckling and/or failure. This is a common problem in Colorado where heavy snows are followed by sunny but cold days. This weather also contributes to the formation of ice dams.
Ice dams form when melting snow freezes before it can clear the roof. When enough ice builds up, it literally forms a dam. Water then finds its way through the joints and seams in your roof. This can cause water to actually drain through your soffit or into your home, resulting in costly repairs.
Heat tape can be used in a zigzag pattern on a roof to cut channels in ice dams allowing water to drain off the roof and into a gutter system. Additional heat tape is then used in the gutters and downspouts to ensure water makes it to the ground and away from your home before refreezing. A more robust alternative to a zigzag pattern is the use of a Roof Ice Melt or RIM system.
Instead of cutting channels in ice dams a RIM system is designed to keep the entire roof edge free of ice and snow. It does this thru the use of a continuous thermally conductive metal panel. A RIM system is an attractive solution where especially heavy ice loading occurs and/or where ascetics are placed at a premium.