Gutters have a very important function — to direct water away from your house. Problems could compromise your home’s moisture barrier, foundation, roofing, and more. That makes gutter repair essential to preserve the integrity of these structures.
Though we often don’t think about our gutters while they are functioning, this means it is easy to neglect common gutter repair and maintenance needs. Unfortunately, if you wait until it is too late, water damage to your home could cost you thousands of dollars.
Are you inspecting and addressing your gutters on a regular basis? If not, you’re asking for problems down the road. Don’t flush money down the downspout; check this list for common gutter repair and maintenance fixes you need to stay on top of.
The most common issue with gutters is debris buildup. Over time, leaves and other plant matter can get lodged in gutters and prevent them from draining properly.
Clogged gutters can become so weighed down that they start to pull off of the fascia of your house. They may take anchor pieces with them or may bend and sag to the point of permanent damage.
Gutters with blockages can cause water to pour over the sides of your home, behind your siding, and into the earth surrounding your foundation. Water left to sit in these areas can cause damage, mold, basement leaks and worse.
You should schedule a thorough gutter cleaning once or twice a year, depending on the tree density surrounding your home. Consider adding extra cleaning to your calendar in the event of high winds or severe storms, as well.
A great option for people who live in densely wooded areas is to add gutter covers to your home. Covers installed by a professional can reduce the amount of debris that falls into your gutter system, as well as protect them from rodent infestation and clogs.
At Alpine Gutters and Downspouts, we typically recommend the Leaf Relief system to protect our customers’ homes and gutters. Over the years, we’ve found this option to perform the best and last the longest.
While gutter leaks can be a sign of a larger issue, small holes and seam separation can occur from time to time. Addressed early, these minor issues can be repaired and sealed to extend the life of your gutters.
Special caulking or sealant can close up small imperfections. Larger areas may need to be patched with metal flashing and then made water-tight.
Sagging, Separating Gutters
Often, sagging gutters are a symptom of another issue such as clogging. On occasion, they can also be caused by failed brackets that have come loose from the facia that anchors them.
Gutters hung incorrectly may not be distributing the weight evenly across the length of your home. Over time, this can put stress on the gutter lengths and cause them to bow.
Gutter brackets can weaken and bend as they age, compromising their hold. Screws come loose from their backing wood, or hardware can rust and break. Periodic inspection and maintenance of these connections can help you replace failing parts before it causes a broken gutter.
If gutters are separating at the seams, a simple glue won’t do the job. These stress points are vulnerable and should be reinforced with screws and brackets.
Gutter Pitch Issues
Gutters hung without the correct pitch, or downward slope, can cause drainage problems. They must descend downward by at least one-quarter inch every 10 feet for water to run toward the downspouts.
One telltale sign of pitch issues is standing water around your foundation after a heavy rain. This symptom is an indicator that water is fulling and running over the tops of your gutters before it can stream down and away from your house via the gutter system.
If you suspect your gutters are not pitched correctly, check for standing water in your gutters after a heavy rain. If your gutter path appears clear yet you see lingering standing water, chances are the angle is not steep enough for gravity to do the job.
In this case, one or more sections of your gutters may need re-hung.
Insufficient Downspout Clearance
If downspouts are not placed far enough from the home, water will be directed right into your basement. Should you find standing water too close to your home, or moisture in your basement, you may need gutter extensions.
Installing gutter extensions is fairly easy, and will give several extra feet of space for water to run before it exits into the ground. Periodically inspect these extensions to make sure they have not been knocked loose by foot traffic or lawnmowers.
Vegetation growing from your gutters isn’t as uncommon as you think. Seeds left by birds or blown into the space by winds can easily sprout in a moist, high-sun environment.
Regular gutter cleaning should help prevent such issues, but be quick to remove any growing plant material you see unexpectedly sprouting up. Strong little plants can weigh down gutters and force them apart at the seams. Root systems can even work their way into siding and brick, causing serious damage.
Don’t Neglect Gutter Repair
While it might not be easy for you to climb up on a ladder and take care of your own gutter repair and maintenance needs, there are plenty of options to help you with these crucial tasks.
Service providers like the professionals at Alpine Gutters & Downspouts, Inc. can help Denver area residents repair and maintain their gutter systems year-round.
If you’re looking for seasonal cleaning and maintenance, leaky gutter repairs, or even the installation of a whole new gutter system, we can help. Don’t risk an inadequate gutter pitch or poorly anchored gutters when the pros are here to help.
Invest in your home by hiring the team at Alpine Gutters & Downspouts that can do it right the first time. With regular cleaning and maintenance, most gutters will last the life of your home. Contact us today to schedule your gutter fixes!