A home’s gutter system is arguably one of the most important features of its exterior. Horizontal-running gutters are installed along the roofline to capture water runoff from the roof and disperse it to the vertical-running downspouts. The water runoff is then discharged safely away from the home’s foundation.
However, gutters also tend to be one of the most taken-for-granted components of the home’s exterior, and maintenance is often reactive rather than proactive. Discover why it’s important not to neglect gutter cleaning and maintenance. We’ll also cover some of the tell-tale warning signs that indicate gutter repair is needed. Here’s a closer look at what you need to know about gutter repair service and the importance of a well-functioning gutter system:
1. Sagging Gutters
If the rain gutters on a home are sagging, then there’s a good chance that they’re not doing their
job. Gutters can sag for several reasons. The most common reason is that they’ve become filled with debris and riddled with clogs and blockages, which means water is likely pooling up within the gutters and adding excess weight. Sags are likely to form in the center of the gutter, as water becomes unable to reach the downspout to properly disperse. If the issue isn’t corrected, gutters can sag more over time – eventually becoming detached and pulling away from the roofline. In some cases, they may detach from the fascia board and your home’s facade completely, leaving your home temporarily without a functioning gutter system.
Sagging gutters can also worsen during the winter months and lead to a greater likelihood of ice dam formation. Ice dams form when snow melts from the roof and then re-freezes once it reaches the roof line and the gutter piece. Ice damming is often worsened by gutters that are clogged, as water runoff is unable to drain properly.
Improper installation is another common culprit behind sagging gutters. All gutters should be installed so that they’re sloped about a half-inch for every 10 feet toward downspouts to ensure proper drainage, which emphasizes the importance of working with experienced, professional contractors for initial gutter installation as well as gutter repair service.
2. Leaking Gutters
Leaking gutters are another common sign that gutter repair service is necessary. Gutters are likely to leak due to aging gutter seam sealant, clogs from lack of maintenance, and damage due to impact. Even a small crack can lead to big problems. Leaks are common in the elbow joints of downspouts, in corners where seals have become worn, and at seams where pieces connect.
While you may not think that small leaks in the system are a big deal, they can have a detrimental effect on your property over time if they’re not corrected. Leaks can lead to pooling water around the property’s foundation, which may eventually result in home water intrusion and costly water damage. In some cases, your roof can also suffer damage, such as wood rot or even water intrusion via the attic.
Unlike sagging and some of the other signs that gutter repair is necessary, spotting leaking gutters is a little bit more difficult. One of the easiest ways to spot leaks is by grabbing an umbrella the next time it rains and walking the perimeter of your property to look for any leaks and to verify that downspouts are discharging water appropriately. Some leaks can be resolved by simply clearing any clogs or obstructions in the gutter system in a timely manner. Other leaks may require more significant repair.
3. Overflowing Gutters
Overflowing gutters don’t just indicate a significant gutter problem, but the issue could have some dire consequences for your home’s siding and exterior walls, leading to foundation damage, water intrusion, and rotting fascia boards.
Overflowing gutters are characterized by water that spills over the top of the gutter lip rather than travel toward the downspout to be discharged safely away from the home. It’s often a result of:
- Gutters that have become tilted. This may occur naturally over time or result from storm damage or high winds.
- Too steep of a pitch, which may cause water to pool up and fail to discharge into the downspout properly. This usually occurs near the ends of gutters.
- Clogged or obstructed gutters that fail to drain properly. When this happens, water simply has nowhere to go and tends to spill over the gutter lip. One way to prevent clogs or obstructions is to install gutter guards. Gutter guards allow water to flow freely into the system, but prevent twigs, branches and other debris from entering.
- Improper installation.
4. Rusted Gutters
Rusted gutters are more than just unsightly – they’re also often evidence of gutters that have other problems that need to be addressed. For example, rust forms when water pools and sits over time. Hence, if you’re finding rust on your gutters, it’s likely because there are bigger underlying issues, like improper installation, clogs or obstructions that are leading to water accumulation or an improper pitch.
As we said, rust is more than just unsightly. Over time, rust can spread, and holes can form in your gutters, leading to further degradation and requiring new gutter installation. Rust’s orange flecks can also spread and stain other building materials. Rust can significantly compromise the overall function of the gutter system. That’s why repairs should be performed at the first sign of rust. Rust only occurs on Galvanized gutters, so when it’s time for new gutters, aluminum gutters tend to be the preferred choice today. Aluminum is the current industry standard because of its resistance to rust.
5. Loose or Detached Gutters
We’ve already covered some of the key causes of loose or detached gutters, such as:
- Clogs and obstructions that place excess weight on the overall system
- Storm and wind damage
- Gutters that are not properly installed, including overflowing and sagging gutters
Loose or detached gutters are problematic for many reasons. Aside from being unsightly, it’s likely that loose or detached gutters have pulled away from the roofline, meaning there may be a gap between the roof and the gutter. As a result, water may not fall into the gutter, but rather into this gap, which can lead to fascia rot, soil erosion, and foundation cracks.
Loose gutters are commonly found when secured using a “spike and ferrule” method. These attached spikes loosen their grip over time, but don’t worry, Advance uses “Hidden Hanger” screw-in brackets to keep your gutters in place.
What Can Happen Without Professional Gutter Repairs?
If you notice any of the issues with your home’s gutter system, it’s best to schedule gutter repair services promptly before issues become more significant, more costly, and potentially even more damaging to the property. Some of the issues regular gutter cleaning and repair services can help prevent include:
Exterior Water Damage
Overflowing, leaking or sagging gutters can lead to a variety of issues. These may include:
- Roof and fascia board rot
- Siding damage and discoloration
- Exterior paint damage and peeling paint
- Damage to exterior walls
- Foundation degradation
- Mold and mildew growth
- Ice dam formation during the winter months
Interior Water Damage
Exterior water damage is one thing, but water that isn’t properly discharged from the gutter system also holds the potential to cause significant interior water damage, especially in basements or lower levels of households. In fact, in many situations of home water damage, one of the first things professionals will assess is the condition of the gutter system. A faulty gutter system can significantly contribute to home water intrusion or even act as the sole underlying issue behind a water loss.
Accelerated Gutter Wear and Tear
When cared for properly, gutters tend to last anywhere from 20 to 50 years. However, a lack of proper maintenance can result in premature gutter replacement.
Why Work with a Professional?
It’s important to work with a qualified gutter repair service provider to ensure that the job is done correctly. Gutter cleaning and routine gutter repair are affordable services that help prolong the life of your gutter system. A good gutter contractor will also properly assess the entire gutter system and help inform homeowners about when new installation services may be necessary based on any further issues or damage they find. Remember, many gutter issues are likely the culprit of improper initial installation. It’s why it can pay – literally – to work with a contractor that knows what they’re doing. We suggest scheduling a professional gutter cleaning at least once a year.
Advanced Pressure and Gutter: Gutter Services
For more information on the signs that could indicate gutter repair services are necessary, check out our Gutter FAQs.
As qualified professional gutter repair experts, we offer a variety of gutter repair and cleaning services. We can repair leaks, fix seams, and inspect underground drains and trim away any trees or landscaping that’s posing a threat to your gutter system. If you find that your gutters are frequently clogged with leaves, twigs, and debris, we’re happy to explore a gutter guard solution. We also carry seamless, aluminum gutters, the best options on the market. We also serve as a roofing helper, as we’re able to perform vent boot replacement or capping, replace missing roof shingles, and carry out general roof shingle repair.
Contact us today to get a free estimate on your next gutter repair service.