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  • Writer's pictureChris Braswell

Top 5 Gutter Problems and How to Prevent Them

Gutters are essential to your home's drainage system, helping channel rainwater away from your roof and foundation. They prevent basement flooding, protect your landscaping, and safeguard your home's structural integrity. However, neglecting proper gutter maintenance can lead to various issues that could damage your home. 

Here are the top 5 gutter problems and how to prevent them:

Clogged Gutters

Leaves, twigs, and other debris accumulate in the gutters, blocking the water flow. Clogged gutters can overflow, causing water to cascade down your walls, potentially damaging siding, windows, and the foundation. Overflowing gutters can also pool around your house, attracting pests like mosquitoes and creating a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

You need to make sure to clean your gutters regularly—ideally, you should do it twice a year, once in the fall after the leaves have fallen and again in the spring after winter debris has accumulated. Consider hiring a professional for the work.

Installing gutter screens or leaf-free gutter guards is another option. They come in various styles, such as mesh screens or foam inserts, and help prevent leaves and debris from entering the gutters in the first place.

Sagging Gutters

Over time, gutters can become overloaded with debris and water weight, causing them to sag or detach from the fascia board. Sagging gutters look unpleasant and can lead to improper drainage and water damage.

Ensure your gutters are appropriately sized for your roof and the rainfall in your area. Schedule regular cleaning to prevent excessive weight buildup. Additionally, check the hangers and brackets that support your gutters. Repair or replace loose or damaged hangers promptly. 

Downspout Issues

Downspouts are vertical pipes that direct water away from the gutters and toward the ground; however, problems with downspouts can also lead to water damage. Similar to gutters, downspouts can become clogged with debris. This can cause water to back up into the gutters and potentially overflow. The end of the downspout should extend away from the foundation to prevent water from pooling near your house. Ideally, it should discharge water at least 4–6 feet from the foundation.

Regularly clean your downspouts to remove debris. Consider installing a splash guard at the end of the downspout to direct water further away from your foundation.

Leaky Gutters

Leaks can occur at seams where gutter sections connect, around downspouts, or due to holes caused by rust or improper installation. Leaky gutters let water seep into your roof structure, soffits, and fascia boards, leading to rot, mold growth, and potential structural damage.

Regularly inspect your gutters for signs of leaks and damage. Look for rust, loose seams, and cracks. Repair minor leaks promptly using gutter sealant or patching kits. Consider professional repair or replacement of affected gutter sections for more extensive leaks.

Improper Slope

Gutters must be angled slightly downwards towards the downspouts, typically with a slope of 1/4 inch per 10 feet of gutter length. Improper slope can cause water to pool in certain sections, leading to overflow and potential leaks.

When cleaning your gutters, use a level to check the slope. If adjustments are needed, slightly bend the gutter hangers to achieve the proper pitch.

Following these tips and implementing a regular maintenance routine can prevent these common gutter problems and ensure your gutters function effectively for years. Remember, healthy gutters protect your home from water damage and maintain its structural integrity.

Consider hiring a professional gutter cleaning service like Braswell Construction Group to handle the work and ensure your gutters function optimally. Contact us today!

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