Most homeowners don’t think about their gutters until something goes wrong with them. This fact isn’t surprising, as gutters are meant to be more functional than aesthetic. Having said that, they are important to your home. When something goes wrong with them, it’s vital to have them fixed or replaced immediately. Failing to do so can result in flooding and damage to the interior and exterior of your home, along with the landscaping surrounding it.
Thankfully, gutter installation is generally not expensive, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep an eye out for these common gutter issues.
If you notice that your gutters are overflowing (i.e. you can see water cascading over the edge of them during moderate to heavy rain). If you don’t see water coming out of the downspout, there’s a good chance there is some type of blockage in your gutter system. Thankfully, this doesn’t always mean your gutters need to be replaced, just cleaned.
The only time a gutter system may need to be replaced due to constant overflowing or flooding is if the blockage is caused by bent, warped, split, or broken gutters or downspouts. If your gutters have been damaged due to age or storms, they can easily clog and block the passage of water.
Improperly Sized or Pitched Gutters
Gutters can also overflow if they are improperly sized or pitched. When gutters are too small, they can easily clog. They may also not be able to handle the amount of water that is running off your roof. Depending on the length of the gutter, a larger size may be necessary to handle the runoff for that particular section of your home.
Improperly pitched gutters (the pitch is how slanted your gutters are) are also a cause for overflowing. All gutters need to be pitched downward towards the downspouts, which allows for water to move freely through them and away from the home. When the angle in which the gutters are pitched is too small, water does not flow quickly enough. This can cause flooding within the gutters to occur.
Not Enough Downspouts
If you have a very long section of roofing and gutters that lead to a single downspout, no degree of pitch will adequately allow the water running off your roof to do so quickly enough to avoid flooding. If you have a 30-foot section of roofing and only one downspout, it may be necessary to add an additional downspout to that side of your home.
Gutter Separation or Sagging
If your gutters appear to be sagging or peeling away from your home, they will not operate properly. While it is possible that they only need to be secured back onto your home, the underlying issue may be more complex than that. If the gutter system is particularly old, it’s recommended that you have a specialist take a look at them, as they may need to be replaced.
If you do not have seamless gutters and there appears to be a separation between the different parts of the gutters, it’s a good idea to have them replaced right away.