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7 Most Common Gutter Problems And How to Fix Them

Gutters are an essential component of a home’s infrastructure. They divert rainwater away from the foundation, protecting your home’s structural integrity and keeping your basement dry. However, even these reliable systems can encounter issues. As a homeowner, it’s vital to be aware of these 7 most common gutter problems and address them promptly, ensuring the longevity of your gutters and the safety of your home. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the most common gutter problems we see on a daily basis and how to fixe and prevent them in the future.

The 7 Gutter Problems We See Regularly


1) Clogged Gutters


Perhaps the most common gutter problem, clogs form when leaves, twigs, and other debris accumulate in the channels. Over time, these clogs prevent water from draining, leading to overflows. If left untreated, the standing water can cause rust, and the weight of the debris can pull the gutters away from the house, damaging the roof and siding.

Solution for clogged gutters:

Regular cleaning and gutter maintenance, especially during fall and spring, is essential to prevent clogs. Consider investing in high-quality gutter guards or screens to block debris while allowing water flow. If you live near many trees, you may need more frequent inspections and cleaning by professionals. Wondering what are the best types of gutter guards?

2) Sagging Gutters


Gutters can sag when they become weighed down by debris, standing water, or snow. Sagging not only looks unappealing but also prevents water from properly draining, allowing it to pool in certain areas. This pooling can lead to further issues like rust and leakage.

Solution for sagging gutters
Regularly inspect for sagging areas, and make sure to clear debris promptly to prevent additional weight. If you find sagging sections, you may need to replace or reinforce hangers and brackets. In more severe cases, a professional assessment and repair may be necessary.

3) Gutter Seams Separating


Gutter seams can separate due to temperature changes, poor installation, an improper sealant used, or general wear and tear. Separations allow water to escape and drip down, potentially damaging the home’s exterior, landscaping, and even leading to foundation problems. 

Solution for gutter seams separating
Regularly inspect seams and apply sealant to minor separations. If gaps persist or widen, a professional repair may be needed. Opting for seamless gutters during replacement can prevent this problem altogether.

4) Improperly Pitched Gutters

gutter pitch


Gutters must be pitched correctly towards the downspouts to enable proper water flow. If not angled correctly, water can stagnate, leading to mosquito breeding, plant growth, and even gutter corrosion. Improper pitch can occur due to poor installation or shifting over time.

Solution for improperly pitched gutters
Check for standing water in your gutters and consult a professional to assess the pitch if necessary. The correction might require rehanging sections of the gutter with the proper slope towards the downspouts, ensuring water flows efficiently. Properly pitched gutters are an essential part of a properly functioning gutter system.

5) Inadequate Gutter Size

5inch vs 6 inch gutter


Sometimes, the installed gutters may be too small to handle the volume of rainwater your roof sheds. This mismatch can lead to consistent overflows even when the gutters are clean, which can damage landscaping and lead to water intrusion in the foundation or basement.

Solution for inadequate gutter size
Consult with a gutter professional to assess the size needed for your home based on the roof’s surface area and the average rainfall in your region. A larger gutter size may be necessary to handle the water volume efficiently, preventing overflows and subsequent damage. Learn more about the difference between 5-inch and 6-inch gutters.

6) Ice Dam Formation

Gutter Ice Dam


Sometimes, the installed gutters may be too small to handle the volume of rainwater your roof sheds. This mismatch can lead to consistent overflows even when the gutters are clean, which can damage landscaping and lead to water intrusion in the foundation or basement.

Solution for ice dam formation
The only way surefire solution is to ensure proper attic insulation and ventilation to prevent ice dam formation. Regular snow removal from the roof during winter can also be helpful. Learn more about how to prevent ice dams.

7) Leaks And Holes


Weather, rust, and physical damage can lead to small holes or leaks in your gutters. If not addressed, these leaks can cause water damage to the fascia, soffit, walls, and even the interior of your home, potentially leading to costly repairs.

Solution for leaks and holes in gutters
Regularly inspect your gutters for small leaks or holes. Patch them with a quality gutter sealant. For larger holes, you may need to apply a metal patch before sealing. Consult a professional if you find multiple leaks or significant damage, as a replacement might be the best course of action.

Maintain Your Gutters To Avoid Issues

In conclusion, gutters play an invaluable role in safeguarding your home against water damage. By being aware of these common issues and their solutions, homeowners can take proactive steps to ensure their gutters remain functional and durable for years to come. Regular inspections, timely repairs, and routine maintenance can help ward off most of these problems, saving you time and money in the long run.

At Gutter Pros, our craft and our passion are one and the same. We don’t just install gutters; we specialize in them! We can help you evaluate your gutters and determine which gutter guard solution is the best one for you. Get a free estimate today.

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