Community Insider Fall 2017 - Page 14

PREPARE YOUR HOA FOR WINTER STORMS: Annual Rain Gutter & Downspout Maintenance by J. David Rauch T he single most important maintenance task is performing your annual roofing maintenance, including rain gutter and downspout cleaning. The best time to perform this task is fall. Not only will you prevent flood calls but it will give your roofs additional years of precious life. Your gutters channel water from an area up to 3,000 square feet, shuttling the water away from your home. To function correctly your gutters and downspouts must be free of leaves, dirt and debris. If there is a gutter clog water will spill over the gutter system onto your home’s exterior and, at best, the water will degrade your stucco or paint within a year or two. At worst, you could be looking at the following: • Interior unit damage from roof or window water leaks. • Stucco damage and discoloration (nasty black streaks). • Wood deterioration from both wood rot and termite infestation (wet wood makes wonderful termite food). • 14 Excess water around the foundation slab could facilitate slab cracks due to soil subsidence. | SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY INSIDER | FALL 2017 • Excess water around the foundation could facilitate saturation and subsequent water evaporation into the home. • If you have expansive “clay filled” soils your soil (and foundation) could “heave”. In addition to gutter and downspout cleaning, also check gutters for rust, flaking or peeling paint, leaks, and make sure the gutters are securely attached to the fascia boards. Check the fascia boards themselves for dry rot or other damage, and, if need be, replace them with lumber treated with wood preservative that is finished to match the other boards. And, check and clear debris from all the association’s area drains, sump pumps, landscape drainage and storm sewers. Don’t Forget Your Downspouts Be sure your downspouts expel water into the storm drain or away from your house’s foundation. If necessary, add downspout extensions to carry the water away. Consider concrete or plastic splash blocks that are sloped and divert water away from the foundation. The building code requires that the grade adjacent to the foundation be sloped away from the home for five (5) feet. In addition to gutter and downspout cleaning, you also need to do the following preventive roof maintenance procedures annually: • Clean dirt, leaves and debris from all scuppers, valleys, drain bowls, area drains and conductor heads. • Replace or refasten all gutter spikes. • Inspect the roof surface and all roofing system components for damage. WWW.CAI-SD.ORG