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  • Writer's pictureJessica Foster

Chimneys & Gutters: Why Do They Matter?

Chimneys and gutters/downspouts are important structures connected to the roof. Though, in regards to chimneys, houses have changed in modern times with not every building having a chimney, the main purpose of a chimney hasn’t changed. Chimneys aid in the removal of gasses such as carbon monoxide and others. Basic principles such as hot air rising contribute to the proper functioning of chimneys, venting out gasses. Considering sufficient amounts of carbon monoxide entrapped in a home can lead to deadly consequences, chimneys are an aspect that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Meanwhile, gutters and downspouts contribute to diverting water away from the house. This is a task that helps keep a home’s foundation free of water and prevents damage from standing water getting stuck on roofs. Therefore, it’s best to be equipped with possible issues that can occur with chimneys and chimneys in order to avoid costs down the line or other, more potentially dangerous issues.

One thing that may be observed is a cracked chimney cap. A chimney cap, as the name suggests, is the covering that sits on top of the chimney. These protect the chimney from rain and downdrafts. When these caps crack, it can cause leakage. Despite this sounding concerning, cracks in the chimney cap are quite common and not necessarily a cause for panic. This is because the cracks happen due to the chimney walls expanding and contracting due to variations in temperature, which is inevitable. However, the chimney cap should still be repaired or replaced to resolve the leaking issue. 

Continuing with leaks, it is possible for chimney flashing to have leakage. According to performance guidelines, under no circumstance should new flashing be leaking, and the leaks must be repaired. It should be noted that factors such as ice build up can cause leaking, so this issue may arise during colder months. Regardless, the flashing should be fixed.

Downspouts/gutters have their own potential issues as well. One thing that can be observed is the gutters having leaks. Performance guidelines state that this is unacceptable and must be fixed. Methods such as using sealants can be employed in order to stop leakage. Aside from just random leakage, gutters may face overflow due to rain. Like before, performance guidelines deem this unacceptable, as there is no reason for a gutter to overflow during typical rain. With heavier rains, gutters have more of a chance of overflowing which makes customer action important. Making sure these areas are clear of debris will help prevent overflow. Leaves and ice are common factors that lead to gutters getting clogged up.

Lastly, it is possible that gutters will retain water even long after the most recent bout of rain. Performance guidelines state that the water level should not exceed ½ inch in depth, which should be easily reached as long as the gutter isn’t full of debris. 

Chimneys and gutters/downspouts are important attached structures when it comes to dealing with roofs. It’s crucial to understand what may go wrong with these structures and whether or not a visual issue requires repair or not for the good of any construction project. Here at Fine Remodeling, we are your Delaware contractor equipped with the knowledge of performance guidelines so your renovation project can proceed smoothly. Not only that, but we are determined to go beyond just satisfactory so your project can become a reality. Get in touch with us about your next renovation project so you can be sure it's done right the first time.

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