Rainwater gutters provide a simple yet necessary solution by preventing water from running off rooftops while it rains. They also protect the foundation and walls of your building from getting damaged by rainwater.
However, you can face many structural and safety issues when gutters stop functioning correctly. So, to avoid such a scenario, we have outlined six of the most common gutter problems you can check for and how to solve them early on.
6 Most Common Gutter Problems Homeowners Face with Solutions
1. Blocked Gutters
While gutters are primarily designed to catch and direct water running off the roof, they also, unfortunately, hold other materials in the process. These materials include twigs, leaves, and other items blown by the wind into them, and when these items build up after some time, they cause blockages.
Once your gutters are blocked, they won’t be able to drain the rainwater effectively and will start overflowing.
Get a ladder and check where there is a blockage in the gutter system; this could be in the hopper head or downpipe. After identifying the material, proceed to remove all of it, then pour some water to check that it flows smoothly.
2. Sagging Gutters
Gutters will start sagging when they have too much weight inside them that the support brackets can’t manage. The excess weight can result from blockages, snow build-up in winter, or improper system installation.
Experts advise that gutters support brackets are installed at least 1 meter apart or closer if you are in an area experiencing heavy snowfall or with a steep roof. Also, support brackets should be 150mm after any stop end, joint, or bend.
When your gutters lack sufficient support brackets, you will encounter frequent sagging.
Remove all the debris present, as they cause blockage and add unnecessary stress on supports and joints.
Install snow guards to prevent snow from accumulating in the gutters. When you let the snow increase, it can become surprisingly heavy. So, installing the guards will hold off the snow mounds and allow the melt water to run undisturbed.
You should also add more support brackets to hold the gutters firmly in place.
3. Plants Growing in Gutters
Once you see flowers, weeds, or grass growing in your gutters, it’s a sign they haven’t been cleaned for a long time. When debris like soil and rainwater mix, it creates an ideal environment for plant growth.
The plants will cause a blockage and even attract squirrels, mice, birds, and rats.
Clean the gutters regularly to reduce the chances of soil or debris building up to host wayward seeds.
4. Incorrect Gutter Fall
If all your gutters are perfectly level, there won’t be any gravity to push water to the downpipe when it rains. So, some water could remain on the channels after rainfall instead of flowing down.
Worse yet, when there is heavy rainfall, the gutters won’t be able to drain the water quickly, and they will overflow. If you have observed that your gutters are constantly overflowing, yet, they aren’t clogged; it might be due to an incorrect fall.
A gentle fall into the downpipe will increase the gutters’ capacity and help prevent such issues.
Take out all the support brackets and install each so that they gently angle down the gutters to the downpipe.
5. Inadequate Guttering
If your gutter system isn’t correctly sized to meet your property needs, it could be why you always have issues like overflows, clogging, and flooding.
Your roof’s surface area, slope angle, and rainfall intensity in your area all determine the style and size of the gutter required.
Try and increase the system’s capacity by ensuring it has a sufficient fall or add more downpipes. However, doing so can be costly, so replacing the current system with a new one that’s correctly sized is a better option.
6. Water Freezing in Gutters
During winter, when the temperatures are low, water in the gutters will condense into ice. Once water shifts to ice, it expands and then when there’s heat, and the ice melts into water, it contracts.
The repetitive cycle of expanding and contracting can damage your gutters by distorting their shape, splitting joints, and loosening push-fit brackets.
The only option here is to pour warm water into the gutters so it melts away the ice. The problem is, doing so speeds up the contraction and will still affect the system.
Ideally, it is preferable to prevent the problem from arising by cleaning the gutters and checking that they gently slope to the downpipe to avoid water accumulating in them.
Sixpenny Chimney — Professionals in Gutter Repair, Cleaning & More
Hopefully, we have outlined common gutter problems you are facing and provided a solution for how to solve it. However, if you have difficulty cleaning or removing debris, contact Sixpenny Chimney in Northern Virginia today or give us a call at 703-491-8697. Our dedicated team is ready to handle all your gutter needs.