The gutter along your roof is critical to protecting the structural integrity of your home. It serves as a conduit for rainwater. The downspout delivers safely to the ground, where it won’t damage the home’s foundation and landscaping.
However, gutters need to be kept in good condition for them to keep doing their job properly. If your gutter is not well-maintained, it might develop problems that will render them ineffective. It may even lead to the high cost and inconvenience of replacing it.
Here are some gutter problems that can often lead to damage to your roof and home.
Clogged gutters are a problem you might have encountered once or twice if you’ve ever worked on a roof or gutter.
No gutter issue is more common with gutters than clogging. This is because it’s easy for gutters to clog up with anything that gets blown by the wind. You’ll often find bugs, leaves, twigs, pine needles, balls, or kites. Even small critters like birds, mice, and possums keep the gutters from doing their job properly.
Clogging defeats the purpose of the gutters as they can’t drain properly. It can start to overflow during rainstorms that can weigh down on your roof, causing cracks and cleaving joints.
The water can also find its way into the gaps of your roofing or your attic, precipitating leaks. As it enters the attic, it can render the insulation useless, which only adds to your energy efficiency problems. The extra weight from the water can also strain the gutter attachments to your fascia and lead to collapse. All of these problems can, of course, be terrible for the longevity of your roof.
That’s why keeping your gutters clean with regular gutter cleaning and maintenance. Clean your gutters twice a year to make sure the water can flow through easily. You can also prevent the amount of dirt and debris that gets into the gutters in the first place by installing a good gutter protection system like gutter guards.
Leaking Gutter Joints
Gutter joints are the most susceptible to leaks as they are directly exposed to harsh environmental conditions. They can rust or deteriorate after being exposed to standing water, allowing the water to enter indoors. Leaks can also occur from improperly pitched gutters, loose fasteners, separated joints, and cracks and holes within them.
As a result, the gutters will become ineffective as the water will leak through during the process. When the water isn’t properly diverted away, it will run down the sides of your home and accumulate around your home base, affecting the foundation. To minimize damage, keep an eye on your gutters to make sure it’s leak-free.
Gutter damage can happen in various ways. However, the most common culprit is the weather. Gutters can get easily knocked down or damage during a heavy rainstorm or windstorm. It can also sustain damage due to clogging or poor joining methods, resulting in the gutters separating from the joint area.
As a result, your gutter would become ineffective at its job as it cannot properly drain off water. Additionally, this can cause damage the home by pouring loose rainwater against the mortar of the bricks and any other parts of the house.
If you’re dealing with weather damage, fixing them is as simple as rehanging or replacing certain sections. There’s also not much you can do to prevent this type of damage other than making sure that they are properly installed and not loosened.
Sagging gutters is usually the result of the combination of clogging and problems with your hangers. When leaves, twigs, and standing water accumulate in your gutters, the extra weight can cause the gutter system and fascia boards to sag or even detach from your roof. If your hangers are loose or too far apart, they can pull out when they can’t hold the weight.
Loose hangers can be fixed by simply tightening the screws again. However, if the problem is caused by the hangers being spaced too far apart, then you’ll need to install new ones.
Other reasons contribute to this problem. Sometimes, your gutters sag because it’s too small that it can’t even handle a typical rain shower. It may also not be able to cope with much rainwater if made from thin or low-quality materials. Other times, the problem may lie in the poor installation.
Rust results from the deterioration of metal due to its interaction with the chemical reaction between itself, oxygen, and water or moisture in the air. As gutter materials consist of metal, corrosion is most likely to occur, especially in gutters made of galvanized steel.
Galvanized steel is an excellent substrate for gutters as they are strong and durable. However, their popularity plummeted after being discovered to be susceptible to rust after a few years. You can put zinc coating to slow down the rusting, but it will eventually begin to wear away and expose the bare metal.
Not only will corrosion affect appearance, but it will be the cause for any problems identified later, such as leaks and other types of breakage. If left untreated, your gutter will continue to erode until it eventually eats into the surface, fixings, and the sections’ exposed cut edge.
Gutter rust is not as common as the others mentioned. However, it does happen and should be kept an eye out for. If you find signs of rusting in its early stages, you should be able to sand it down and apply primer to prolong your gutter’s lifespan. But if it’s already rusting a lot, you may need to replace those sections.
Many homeowners don’t think about their gutters and end up neglecting them after installation. Only when problems start to surface would it grab their attention. This is why you should be consistent with maintenance to prevent the headaches and hassles before they even begin.
In cases where these issues appear, they need to be addressed right away. While you can certainly take care of these problems yourself, hiring professionals is usually the wiser course of action.
Fahey Roofing Contractors has the experienced and skilled contractors you need to help you with any necessary roof repairs and roof replacement. As roof contractors, we understand the importance of well-designed gutters. We want you to enjoy the benefits of a high-quality gutter system.
We serve various areas in West Virginia and Ohio. Visit our website today at www.faheyroofingcontractors.com or contact us at (304) 826-1323 for West Virginia or (740) 523-0380 for Ohio to learn more.