An average hurricane or tropical storm can bring up to six inches of rainfall per hour. Where will this water would go if your gutters are not working properly? Your gutters are responsible for guiding water effectively off the roof, through the trough system, and away from the house via the downspout. Loose segments, cracked troughs, or sags can impact the efficiency of your gutters and inevitably result in some sort of property damage during heavy storms.

Consider the many ways that gutters protect your home during a storm or hurricane:

Roofing and shingles. If the troughs are filled or clogged, water will not be able to effectively travel down the segments to the downspout, providing time for it to seep in through any loose trim or shingles near the eaves of the roof. Make sure to clean your gutters out and remove any leaves, trash, or debris that could pose a barrier to heavy rain water. When these obstacles become saturated, the segments of your gutter could break free and cause property damage and potential danger down below.

Siding. Another area that is impacted by your gutters is the siding and exterior walls of the home. If water is streaming down the sides of your house, it has the potential to stain the siding or clapboards. Also, this provides the perfect way for rainwater to seep in between planks or in gaps, causing wall rot over time.

Drywall and sheet-rock. Once the exterior wall has been breached by the water, it is only a matter of time before it impacts your interior walls, drywall, and sheet-rock, too. It will probably first be detected by the musty smell, indicating that mildew or mold is growing behind your walls. Later on, you will likely see stains on the surface of the wall, particularly near the seams, ceiling, and floor.

Basements and crawlspaces. The troughs of the gutters lead to the downspout, which should be faced away from your foundation to prevent flooding. When water puddles near or around the downspout, you risk a wet basement or crawlspace. Make sure that you check the downspout's attachment to the system and that you point it away from your home.

Take care of your gutters, and they will continue to guide water safely away from your home. Moisture damage from faulty gutters can wreak lots of havoc, and over time may result in the growth of toxic mold which can cause respiratory illness. Remember the important role that your home's gutters serve, and maintain them before and after hurricanes to ensure they are up to par when needed most.