Do Gutters Need to Be Removed to Replace a Roof?
If you’re living in the Hanover Massachusetts area, chances are during the life of your home, the weather and normal wear and tear will cause you to consider replacing your roof. While simply placing the new roof over the old one is certainly an option, often a complete tear off and replacement can save you quite a few headaches in the long run. In either case, a serious question does arise. What should be done with the gutters during the process?
Mass-Tech Roofing and Building Co. provided an answer to that question, says it’s important to take a quick look at what the gutters actually do. Why do we need them? Well, in a very real sense, the gutters are your first line of defense against the harsh winters and rainy weather that frequent this area. They help to keep moisture, debris, and snow away from your roof and the exterior walls of your home. They do this by essentially creating a dome-like boundary around the edges of your roof as well as portions of the soffit and fascia. The rainwater flows down the channel created by the gutter and eventually into the ground; avoiding your home.
Why Removing Your Gutters is the Smart Move
Because of the nature of what the gutters do, it’s important to remove and possibly replace them when going through with a roof replacement project. If you choose to simply lay new shingles over existing one, you’ll want to remove the gutters to make sure that the seals and existing roof doesn’t need to be replaced or repaired along the edges. Often animals that are seeking shelter during the harsh winter months, or simply cases of frost heave will cause the roofing deck or soffit-fascia area to become damaged or to warp. If the gutters aren’t removed, these potential problems might not be noticed until it is too late. In addition, removing the gutters will help to ensure that the edges on the roof are sealed properly and installed well.
While it is often more expensive up front, often long term problems associated with old shingled roofs can be mitigated with a complete tear off and replacement. In this case, removal of the gutter system is not only recommended, it is essential. Not only does the removal of the gutter system help to ensure that the roof is installed properly, but it also provides a way to change the gutter system if necessary. Depending on the pitch of your roof, the material used to make it, and the expected rainfall in the area, the gutter system on your home may need to be adjusted. The easiest way to do that is to remove it in its entirety and assess the situation as needed during the re-roofing process.
So now that we’ve established that in pretty much every case the gutter system should be removed during a re-roofing process, the next logical question is whether or not the gutters should be replaced. Thankfully for your budget, chances are the answer is not necessarily. If the gutters are shown to be in good condition, and still performing their assigned task without too much trouble, replacing them may not be necessary.
Another reason why it’s a good idea to remove your gutters during the roof replacement process is to thoroughly inspect each of the parts of the gutter system for damage or deterioration. Like or not, the gutter system undergoes quite a bit of brutal abuse, and chances are some repairs may be needed. When you’re replacing or repairing your roof, it’s a good time to remove the gutter system and inspect it thoroughly. Look for such this as cracks along the seams of the gutter, places where the paint or surface treatment seems to be wearing thin, or if you see signs of buckling or small holes or pitting.
Of course there are other signs that you’ll notice when it’s getting time to replace your gutters. Are they pulling away from the house? Do your walls seem to lean a certain direction? Are you seeing mold in your basement? Believe it or not, these various characteristics are usually symptoms of a gutter system that isn’t working properly. Instead of moving water and debris away from your house and it’s foundation, these gutters are allowing water to infiltrate and cause significant damage.
If however the gutters are showing signs of wear and tear, or damage caused by animals or weather, especially the brutal weather found in our neck of the woods, replacing might be the only cost effective option open to you. And honestly, the material we use to create the gutters to meet your expectations and needs are no exception.
And finally, it’s always a good idea to remove the gutters when replacing the roof in order to make sure that the roof, gutter system and the upper areas of your home work well together. All three of these items are designed to keep frost, snow, and water out of your home’s walls, flooring and even the foundation. The only way that they can accomplish this goal is if everything fits well together and creates a strong shield.
So whether you are considering doing a simple roof replacement with a few minor fixes or a complete overhaul of your roofing system, it pays to give a moderate amount of attention to your gutter system as well. Removing them will allow you and your contractor to make sure that all the seals needed are in their correct position, and that there are no problems that need to be addressed before they become major problems. It may seem to be a minor thing considering the time and money that you have invested in your home, but making sure your gutters are properly handled during the re-roofing process is essential for a well completed project.