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    4 Special Considerations for Gutters in the Pacific Northwest

    Gutter
    As a homeowner in the Pacific Northwest, you may have different problems and concerns with your roof and gutter systems than you would if you were living in a desert or in the Midwest. Your home's basic needs are the same, but the weather patterns and the native plants and wildlife will put different pressures on the protective systems you have in place.
    This guide lists four special considerations for gutter systems when you live in the Pacific Northwest region.
    1. Silt or Clay Soil Affects Downspout Drainage
    You may have heard that redirecting your downspouts away from your foundation can help reduce foundation wall water damage. However, the more expansive and water-retentive the soil is, the more important this becomes, as expanding soil can place extreme pressure on the foundation wall. 
    Although some areas in the Pacific Northwest have sandy soil (especially near the ocean) or loamy forest soil that's excellent for gardening, many spots have substances like clay and silt dominating the soil. This soil tends to offer poor drainage as well as higher expansiveness.
    If you have poor drainage in your area, then you need to consider the soil and consequences of disconnecting your downspout from the sewer. You should also consider the soil if you live in a rural area that doesn't have sewer service. You can have a French drain or dry well installed to help dispose of the rainwater runoff from your roof.
    2. Nearby Evergreens May Require Frequent Gutter Cleanings
    Deciduous trees may only drop a noticeable amount of debris in fall, although some messier varieties also drop catkins in spring. However, the evergreens (such as firs and pine trees) that the Pacific Northwest is known for aren't deciduous, meaning their needles can die and fall at any time.
    This incremental dropping of needles can be problematic for your gutters, requiring more frequent cleanings as vegetation builds up. If you have an evergreen near your house, then consider removing it or at least cutting back the closest branches to reduce the amount of debris landing in your gutters.
    Another option is to install gutter guards. However, you have to be careful because small needles can get through the holes in a gutter screen, so you might need to pick a guard with micro-mesh instead.
    3. Pests and Weeds Thrive in Wet Gutters
    Improper gutter pitch can encourage water to collect in your gutters. In addition, debris clogs can provide pooling as well. Mosquitoes love this and will take full advantage of the water. In addition, termites may be encouraged to move in when the constant moisture starts causing water damage to the nearby fascia. Pests like these can be annoying and can cause damage to your home.
    Even if leaves and pine needles don't cause a clog, they can hold enough moisture to sprout and grow seeds. The moderate climate and abundant water found in the Pacific Northwest for nearly the entire year make it a haven for native plants to grow in your gutter.
    4. Frequent Rain Provides More Opportunities for Leaks and Rust
    When you live in a place without much rain, your gutters don't have to deal with daily use. However, in the Pacific Northwest, gutters may be used every day at certain times of the year. In addition to providing more frequent opportunities for leaking, this also accelerates rusting. 
    You can sidestep this issue by installing seamless gutters made of a material that won't rust (aluminum, for example). Make sure a trustworthy professional does the job, or these gutters could still leak at the corners.

    These considerations will help you plan your gutter and downspout strategies and take good care of the ones that you currently have. For more information on how we can help you with gutter installation, repair, and cleaning, contact our team at Bill's Roofing Inc. today.