The 5 Most Common Gutter Problems and How To Fix Them
The gutters on your home are more than simply a way to collect water. They protect our foundations, help to prevent water damage, and have a significant role in reducing the chances of a flooded basement. However, just like every component of your home, there will come a time when your gutters will need some attention.
In this article, we are going to cover five of the most common problems we have experienced with gutters and what actions to take when you are faced with these problems. So, if you are ready, let’s get started.
Clutter in The Gutter
Most of the problems homeowners experience with their gutters are caused by the accumulation of debris. Over time, dirt, sand, leaves, sticks, and even trash can find its way into your gutters. When this happens, it will eventually form a clog that can cause rainwater backup in the gutters. This, in turn, can result in damage to not only your foundation but also to the roof itself.
Fortunately, fixing this, as well as preventing it, are both easy to take care of. For prevention, you should make inspecting and cleaning your gutters part of a seasonal maintenance schedule, don’t forget the downspouts. This will help to prevent clogs before they occur. If you currently have this issue, simply remove the debris. You can do this by either climbing on the roof or from a ladder. Just make sure you do not rest the ladder on the gutters, this can lead to other damaging issues. Once you have accessed the gutter, use a pressure washer, compressed air, or even your hands to clear all debris from the gutters.
Nope, that is not a typo. When birds eat or defecate on your roof or on a tree branch overhanging your roof, they can drop seeds which find their way into your gutters. A little sunlight and some water and you have one of the longest flowerpots you have ever seen. While the idea sounds interesting, vegetation growing in your gutters can lead to a plethora of issues and damages.
To fix this, you are basically going to have to follow the same guidance we have given above. You will have to access the gutters, either by getting on the roof or on a ladder and clean all vegetation, roots, and debris you can find. If you find this to be a common occurrence, you may want to consider installing guards on your gutters. A quick trip to the hardware store and a day or two of some DIY can save you thousands in damages.
Loose or Damaged Gutters
Loose or damaged gutters let water flow uncontrolled off of your roof. Instead of being directed away from you home and its foundation, it is free to collect and eventually find its way into your home. Additionally, they can be a potential hazard during high winds.
Gutters are hung using specially designed hangers. To fix loose gutters, you may be able to tighten the hangers and resolve the issue. If the hangers are damaged or missing, head to your favorite hardware store and they can help you find the ones you will need. If the gutters are damaged, it is possible you can straighten them out since they are aluminum and fairly pliable. If the damage is severe, remove the section, take it to the hardware store and they can help you with a replacement. Most large hardware stores have the necessary equipment to make a replacement for you.
Bending or Warping
Gutters will eventually warp and bend as they age. Along with it, so do the hangers and other hardware that was used to install them. This deformation causes the gutters to pull away from you home and lets water fall uncontrolled.
Fixing this issue is a little more time consuming than the previous issues we have mentioned. First, you are going to have to remove the old gutters and hardware in areas where they are warping or bending. Fortunately, gutters and gutter hardware are inexpensive and fairly simple to install. Once the warped and bent portions have been removed, replace them with new gutters and hardware. Yes, it sounds simple, and it is. However, it can take the better part of a weekend to complete so plan accordingly.
Our final problem is fairly common, especially in older homes that do not have seamless gutters. In the locations where two sections of gutter join together, it is common for leaks to develop over time. Changing temperatures, house settlement, and weather all play their part and eventually wear down on the gutters, this is how the leaks occur.
Out of all of the common issues mentioned, this is probably the easiest to fix. All that you will need to do is to buy some silicone caulking and reseal the joints. Just make sure when that you keep the silicone as flush as possible to prevent creating a dam-like effect. Go ahead and place some silicone on the rivets that were used when the gutters were installed. They too will develop leaks over time so might as well take care of it while you’re there.
There you have it, five of the most common gutter problems and how to go about fixing them. If you notice that you home has any of these issues, make sure you fix them as soon as possible. By not completing the necessary repairs, you could be looking at some extensive damages and huge repair bills down the road.