Being constantly exposed to outside elements, gutters and downspouts are prone to a wide range of issues. If left unfixed, these could damage the house structure and endanger you and your family.
For this reason, they have to be kept in good shape through regular inspection, cleaning, and repair. Besides keeping the whole household safe, doing these will prolong their life and prevent costly repairs.
Now, here are some common gutter issues and how you can fix them. However, in some cases, calling a gutter professional is strongly advised to ensure efficiency and safety in conducting the work.
1) Clogged or Blocked Gutters
Like all parts of your house, gutters need to be cleaned and maintained too to ensure water will drain properly from them every time it rains.
Not doing this can lead to a bevy of issues such as foundation damage, soil erosion, flooded basement, rotting siding, and a damaged chimney. And with this scale of damage, repairing them is very expensive.
To solve this issue, stick to a maintenance plan at least twice a year. Make it once in the spring to prepare for the rainy season and another after in fall to collect the leaves and debris that have gathered.
2) Leaking or Holed-Up Gutters
Leaky and holed gutters are a problem since they can’t properly convey rainwater toward and through the downspouts. Fortunately, they are quite easy to fix as soon as you notice them.
For small holes, you can seal them up with caulk, which should do the trick. But, for larger punctures and leaking spots, you’ll need to patch them up.
There is a patching kit you can pick up from your nearest hardware store. Before buying one, though, make sure that the patch material is similar to your gutter material.
3) Sagging Gutters
Gutters can also sag under the weight of the leaves, branches, and debris on them. This can be noticeable from outside the house, which negatively affects people’s impression of your house.
After having cleared the mess off your gutters, you can fix sagged gutters by simply tightening the screws of their hangers or brackets.
It’s also possible that the hangers are placed apart from each other resulting in a burdened look. For this, the best solution is to take out and install new hangers one by one to straighten the gutters.
4) Damaged Gutters
Gutters can be damaged for other reasons other than sagging or leaking. Take, for instance, strong rains and winds, which can cause them to be severely damaged and/or fall out from the roof.
When this happens, all you can do is to call a gutter specialist to repair or install new, better ones for you. As for minor problems, sometimes you only have to rehang the gutters or replace damaged sections.
5) Incorrect Gutter Angle
For water to flow seamlessly on your gutters until they empty out, it has to be angled correctly. The standard for this is 1/4 inch for every 10 feet of gutter.
How do you know if your gutters are pitched correctly? Easy, you just take your ladder, get up on it, check if there’s any standing water on the gutter; if the answer is yes, then you’d need to correct it.
It can be as simple as bending the gutters to get the needed angled slope. But, most of the time, it involves a larger work of removing and fitting back the hangers into place.