Common Gutter Problems and Their Solutions

Potential gutter problems

People might have told you to get your mind out of the gutter. But right now, you need to focus on common gutter problems and their solutions.

Did a storm damage your home, are your gutters old, or did someone install them improperly? Whatever brought you here, rest assured that you will find what you are looking for.

Potential gutter problems

How Gutters Work

The purpose of a gutter is to navigate water that is pouring off of your roof away from your foundation. Gutters prevent water damage by catching rainwater and directing it away from your building.

Before we discuss gutter problems, let’s explore what a proper gutter installation involves. 

Pitch

Your gutters should slope ½ inch every 10 feet. If one side of the building is over 35 feet long, the slant should begin in the middle and end at the downspout. If it is shorter than 35 feet, the entire length will slant slightly to allow water to flow.

Downspout

Gutters work to avoid floods or foundation damage, so where they send the water is important. If it’s too close to your home, it isn’t doing its job.

Your downspout should direct water a few feet away. Approximately 4 feet offers plenty of room between your foundation and rushing water.

Hardware and Hangers

Hangers are specially designed frames that cradle the gutters. They hold them in place while the hardware fastens them to the fascia.

Intact hardware and the health of the fascia are crucial. If your fascia is rotting, old, or brittle, the gutters will be weak and prone to collapsing.

Now you’re ready to learn about common gutter problems and their solutions.

Scenario #1 Sagging Gutter

You may notice that your gutters don’t trace a straight line anymore. They should slant but not buckle! Early warnings of a sagging gutter is stagnant or overflowing water. The rainwater will sit and collect in one place instead of being carried away.

If the sagging is not corrected, the entire gutter becomes loose and sags. Eventually, it can disconnect and fall which poses a significant safety risk to anyone underneath.

A sagging gutter could be caused by multiple possibilities or the combination of a few.

Problem

The gutters were not pitched properly during installation. Instead of directing the water away from your home, the gutters collect standing liquid in one place creating a heavy weight.

Pro Tip: You can check the pitch of your gutters by running a garden hose through them. If the water flows toward the downspout, that’s an excellent sign. If the water collects in any areas, this could lead to problems like overflowing and sagging.

Solution

Remove the gutters and reinstall them properly at the right pitch.

The good news is, you shouldn’t need new materials. The sagging gutter might need to be repaired depending on its condition.

Problem

The hardware holding up your gutters has failed because it’s old, corroded, or was improperly installed.

Solution

This is a simple fix. All you need is new hardware. But not any hardware!

Mixing metals is a big mistake. If the gutters are copper, you do not want steel touching it in any way. When water washes over steel and copper, the copper aggressively corrodes the steel. This renders it useless in very little time.

Problem

The gutter is attached to the fascia which has deteriorated. This prevents the hardware from supporting its weight.

Solution

This is not an easy repair job. Remove the gutter and replace the fascia. Then the gutter should be reinstalled.

Scenario #2 Leaking Gutter

Your gutter appears to be fine until it starts to rain. Then, instead of finding shelter under your eaves, you feel a drip or even a steady stream of rainwater.

Problem

Leaking gutters are physically damaged. There is a tear in the material caused by severe storms, aging, or stress.

Solution

If you know your gutters are reaching the end of their life, it’s best to replace them. But if there is a crack or hole caused by flying debris, you can get away with filling or patching the spot.

Fill in small holes with a sealant. Larger holes require a patch to be made which attaches to the pre-existing gutter. It’s a simple repair that RecoveryRoofing can do for you in a snap!

Problem

Loose gutters will leak as they tip sideways. We see this problem most often after Florida’s tropical storms and hurricane winds. If left alone, the next storm could rip it off. It’s critical to get these fixed as soon as possible to avoid injury.

Solution

A loose gutter may only need its hardware tightened.

Problem

Bent or warped gutters happen with age or stress. They can twist and spill water, or pull away from the roof altogether.

Solution

Seal together a joint that has slight warping. But if the entire gutter is bending out of shape, replacement is the only option.

Scenario #3 Clogged Gutters

Keep your gutters clean to maintain their condition and help them to last as long as possible. Most of the issues discussed above can be caused by clogged gutters!

When you let debris, leaves, and bird feces collect, plant life will grow there. Birds will also nest. And suddenly, you have a small ecosystem on your house!

Although this might be cute, you won’t be smiling when you get the repair bill.

Prevention of Gutter Problems is the Best Solution

Instead of waiting until your gutters fall apart, have them cleaned once or twice a year. And if you don’t like doing that, hire your trusted roofing specialists at RoofingRecovery. We will install gutter guards which will protect your gutters all year round.

Do you need gutter repair or replacement? Get in touch with Recover Roofing for all your roofing needs!

 

 

 

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