Gutters have a big job to do. They help protect your roof and home by rerouting rainwater away from it. The trouble is, gutter problems can get in the way of accomplishing that important task, and the result can be a whole lot of damage to your roof and house. So, what do you do if your gutters seem to be underperforming? Don’t worry, you’ve got this! Just keep this list handy for an explanation of common gutter problems and how to fix ‘em.   

Problem #1: Clogged Gutters and Downspouts

Perhaps the most common gutter problem of all, clogging occurs when debris accumulates in the gutter and downspouts, blocking the flow of water and causing it to get backed up. This can result in leaks and damage to attic insulation, as well as your home’s foundation.

The weight of all that excess water, along with the sticks and leaves and other debris, can also cause your gutters to sag or even pull away from the house. Obviously, that’s not a good thing either!  

Solution: 

You should clean gutters at least once or twice a year, especially if you have a lot of trees near your home. Check for debris and obstructions following big storms, too. A simple routine of regular maintenance can eliminate this problem, and all the other problems that come with it. Just be warned though: it’s often a messy job, so don’t wear your good clothes!   

Problem #2: Sagging, Damaged, or Loose Gutters

Whether from a storm, a clogging problem, or hardware that has succumbed to the elements and deteriorated over time, sections of gutters can sag or separate from the house and joints can come apart. A saggy, damaged, or loose gutter certainly can’t do its job very well, and may allow water to get in places it shouldn’t. 

Solution: 

Sometimes, the fix for this is as easy as getting yourself some new hardware to reattach the saggy or loose sections or to secure the gutter joints back together. Other times, you may not be so lucky and will need to replace gutters entirely, depending on the damage. 

Here’s a good tip that may help to avoid the problem in the first place: Keep tree limbs cut back to at least three feet from the roof so fallen branches are less likely to cause damage to your gutters, roof, or home. Oh, and don’t forget the solution to problem #1: keep those gutters clean!

Problem #3: Leaking Gutters

If you see a constant drip or steady stream of water coming from a section of your gutter, we’re sorry to tell you, but you’ve got yourself a leak. Your gutters go through some pretty harsh wear and tear, so it’s no wonder they might sport a hole or crack here and there over time. Paint can get old and peel, too, allowing for corrosion to occur, and sealant can eventually wear off around joints or seams. 

Solution: 

Here’s the good news: small holes and cracks can be sealed with a waterproof gutter caulk or sealant, which can also be applied to seams and joints. Plus, there are patching kits for bigger holes that can be found at your local hardware store. Even better? Get yourself some seamless gutters and eliminate this problem once and for all! 

Seamless gutters are exactly that — seamless! They are customized to fit the length of your roofline and because of their design, they have no seams susceptible to leaks. Bam! Problem solved.

Problem #4: Improperly Pitched Gutters

Gravity is your gutter’s best friend, but for it to work its magic, the pitch, or angle, of your gutter has to be just right. Water needs to be able to flow smoothly to the downspout. An improper angle can inhibit the flow and cause pooling or standing water instead, and that invites all sorts of trouble. The proper pitch?  Slope your gutters at a ¼ inch for every 10 feet. And you thought you’d never use math in real life!

Solution: 

Measure and make sure your gutter to downspout is in alignment and sloped correctly. If not, try pushing it into the correct position or taking it down and rehanging it.  

Problem #5: Downspouts Draining Too Close to Foundation

Sometimes you can be so preoccupied with keeping your gutters in tip-top shape that you forget about their trusty companions — the downspouts. Besides checking regularly for clogs, you should also make sure the water dispersing from the runoff end of downspouts isn’t pooling by the foundation or basement wall. That, my friends, could have some major consequences! Believe us, you don’t want to deal with water in your basement or a compromised foundation to your home. 

Solution:

Fortunately, this is easy-peasy to correct. If your downspouts do not extend 4-6 feet from your house, head on back to the hardware store and pick up a gutter extension. This device is inexpensive and easily attaches to the bottom of the downspout so the water is dispersed far enough away to not cause any damage to your house. 

Say Goodbye to Gutter Problems for Good

Gutters giving you trouble? If you don’t want to deal with it yourself, just let Werner Roofing know! We’re happy to help you solve your gutter problems, show you some gutter options, or even install seamless gutters for long-lasting, high-performance stormwater management. Don’t let gutter problems get you down. Use this handy guide or simply give us a call.  

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