Gutter Problems You Want to Avoid
The main purpose of gutters is to create a channel for rainwater to flow away from the foundation of your home. Keeping large amounts of water away from the house will prevent an array of issues that can develop from water damage, therefore we can’t stress enough the importance of having professionally installed gutters on your home.
Homeowners install gutters with the intention of solving problems, not creating them, but if they’re installed incorrectly, you’ll find that your gutters can create an entirely new set of concerns. It’s equally important that gutters be maintained after installation to ensure that they work appropriately and don’t lose their efficacy.
Below are five common gutter problems you want to avoid.
Problem #1: Clogged Gutters Full of Debris
Gutters that are full of leaves and other debris are of no use to you. Keeping your gutters clean is vital to preventing damage to your siding, landscaping and foundation. Neglecting your gutters can even provide an opportunity for rodents such as squirrels to build nests, or for seeds from overhanging trees to sprout roots and start growing.
Depending on where you live, it’s a good idea to check your gutters annually or semi-annually and clear them out when necessary; the more often you do this, the easier they’ll be to maintain. If you wait too long, this process may prove to be much more tedious and costly.
It’s best to start cleaning your gutters by removing any large items such as bunches of leaves, twigs and muck from nearby trees. Once all the large items have been successfully removed, you can take a garden hose and flush them out with water.
Make sure to check your downspouts for debris too. The corners where gutters and downspouts meet are susceptible to major clogs. If any of these areas are backed up, the water won’t find its way out, rendering your gutters useless.
If you aren’t comfortable getting on a ladder and cleaning out your own gutters, there are many companies that’ll provide this service for a fee. Many of these businesses can even install gutter covers that will help keep debris out altogether and minimize the overall maintenance needed. Keeping your gutters clean not only allows them to work as expected, but also helps prevent them from becoming heavy and pulling away from the fascia.
Problem #2: Sagging from Improper Installation or Maintenance
When gutters are installed properly they work much more effectively and cause less problems in the long-run. Gutters need to be affixed to the fascia using hangers and hardware that’s spaced out appropriately to support its required weight. Over time, this hardware will begin to deteriorate and inevitably need to be replaced.
If the gutters aren’t adequately maintained, the weight of excessive debris will cause the hangers to loosen and the gutters to sag; this can usually be fixed easily by cleaning out the gutters and tightening the screws. If sagging becomes a much more regular concern, it’s likely that the hangers weren’t installed properly and spaced too far apart; if this is the case, they’ll need to be replaced or you’ll continue to have issues with sagging.
Problem #3: Incorrectly Pitched Gutters
If your gutters aren’t pitched or angled correctly they won’t drain, and water will collect. If you’re not sure whether or not your gutters are draining efficiently, you can check by getting on a ladder after it has rained and making sure there isn’t any standing water.
If you discover that your gutters aren’t working, you can usually fix the angle by bending them into place to meet the appropriate slope; ideally you’ll have a quarter inch or more of slope for every ten feet of gutter.
If bending the gutters doesn’t work, you may need to start from scratch by reinstalling the hangers. Proper installation goes a long way towards preventing most gutter problems and it’s always recommended that you hire a professional to help with this.
Problem #4: Damaged Gutters
As with all other parts of your home, gutters are vulnerable to damage from the weather and your environment. If a bad storm knocks down a branch and it falls on your home, chances are your gutters will get damaged. Holes and leaks can become a concern, as well, over time.
Fixing your gutters is usually pretty straight forward, but there are times that more complex repairs will be needed and hiring a professional is necessary. However, if you’re consistent about checking your gutters and maintain them on a regular basis, fixing any issues should be relatively easy.
Problem #5: Insufficient Gutters
Some homes don’t have gutters at all, and others are missing critical pieces. It’s important that you assess the areas of your home that collect the most water during a storm and ensure that they have a sufficient system in place.
Depending on the pitch of your roof, some corners of your house may gush water at a valley, causing landscaping to be disturbed and creating a great deal of potential harm to your foundation. You want to prevent any possible damage to your home by having a gutter system in place wherever rain tends to collect, remembering that the downspout is a critical component.
Downspouts need to extend far enough from the house that they won’t simply drain right back into your foundation or basement. Consider adding a downspout connecter or extension that drains the water at least four feet from the house.
It’s highly recommended that all homes have a gutter system in place and that it be properly installed. Maintenance and regular cleaning are necessary to keep them functioning optimally.
If you need new seamless gutters, Feldco is here to help. Get a free quote now and we’ll help you get the perfect gutters for your home.