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Home | How to do it | Top Gutter Problems Every Homeowner Should Know (and Fix)

Top Gutter Problems Every Homeowner Should Know (and Fix)

Common Gutter Problems and Their Solutions

There’s no question about it: Gutters are underrated. Almost no one notices them, but they’re essential when it comes to preventing water damage to your home. They’re designed to do one thing: direct water away from the foundation to protect your house’s structural integrity. If they’re clogged or have other issues, it may cause significant problems for the rest of your property.

This is why it’s important to maintain your gutters regularly and have a general understanding of common gutter problems. They need to be kept free of holes, sags, and clogs in order for them to do their job properly.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common problems with gutters, so you can learn how to fix them in case an issue arises. And the good news is that most of them can be easily fixed by the homeowners themselves. From sagging gutters to bad gutter installation, let’s take a look at the gutter issues you may find yourself dealing with and how to take care of them.

At Legacy Service, we provide installation and replacement services for your entire home exterior. Whether you need new roofing, siding, windows, doors, or gutters, you can count on our team. We serve homeowners throughout southeastern PA, NJ, and DE. Contact us today to schedule a free estimate.

Introduction

So, what are some of the most common problems you’ll see with gutters?

We’ll cover how to fix them in the sections below, but gutters problems that you may see or be currently dealing with include sagging, clogs, leaks and holes, damage, ones that are improperly pitched, missing gutters, and a downed spout that’s too close to the foundation.

One thing to keep in mind is that you have to stay up-to-date with regular maintenance and inspections. Cleaning them out about twice a year and committing to yearly maintenance ensures that they’ll last for years to come. That’s what helps prevent bigger problems from occurring down the line. If you do need to repair one of the issues we’ve mentioned, please continue reading.

Now, let’s take a look at the most common problems with gutters in greater detail:

Sagging Gutters

Sagging Gutters

Over time, various factors can cause your home’s gutters to sag. The most common reason is letting them become clogged with debris like twigs, leaves, and standing water. The weight of this debris may cause the gutters to sag depending on how long they’re in there and how old the gutters are.

Sagging gutters usually means that there is a problem with the hangers, which is the hardware that secures the gutters to the house’s fascia. They tend to pull out when they cannot hold the extra weight. Other issues include that they’re spaced too far apart to support the weight of full gutters, they may have deteriorated over time, or the fasteners may have backed out of the wood.

Fortunately, sagging gutters can usually be repaired quite easily. Here’s how to fix a sagging gutter:

  • Check to see if the hangers are loose or spaced too far apart.
  • If they’re loose, you can fix this by tightening the screws.
  • If the hangers are too far apart, you would need to install new ones to ensure they’re close enough together.
  • Fortunately, hangers and fasteners are pretty cheap. Currently, they hangers average about $10 or less per piece and fasteners cost about $1 each.

Clogged Gutters

Clogged Gutters

This is a gutter problem that seems to occur most frequently and the largest number of homeowners have to deal with. The good news is that it’s easy to both prevent and resolve. The bad news is that letting it go can lead to more significant problems throughout your home.

When you let leaves and other debris build up, it leads to standing water in your gutters. This excess weight can cause them to sag and pull away from the house.

To prevent your gutters from clogging, try to clean them out about twice a year. We recommend doing it once in the spring and once again in the fall. If you don’t have a lot of trees around your house, you may be able to get away with cleaning them about once a year. Gutter covers, including clip-on grates, mesh screens, and porous foam, also help to prevent clogged gutters.

If they’re already clogged, you can either unclog them yourself or hire someone else to do it for you. Hiring someone can cost between $50 and $250, depending on how large your house is. If you’re comfortable with ladders, you can unclog them yourself. After you clear them, use a garden hose to flush them out and make sure the water is flowing properly.

Leaks and Holes

Leaks and Holes

If you notice streams of water falling from the middle of your gutter, then it may have sprung a leak. Holes and leaks are actually pretty common with gutters, and the good news is that they’re fairly easy to repair.

Here’s how to fix any leaks and holes in your gutters:

  • Inspect your gutters to see how big or small the holes are.
  • Small holes can be filled by caulking the joint from the inside using gutter sealant. Tubes tend to cost about $5.
  • Large holes will usually require a patch. You can make a patch from metal flashing if you can’t find a kit at the hardware store.
  • Remember that if you need to patch a hole, you need to use the same material of the gutter. If you use a different material, it might cause corrosion.

If you think that you may need to replace your gutters altogether, contact your local roofing company. At Legacy Service, we serve homeowners throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Contact us today to schedule a free estimate for roofing and gutter replacement. Read on to learn more about how to fix rain gutters with different types of damage.

Damaged Gutters

Damaged Gutters

Damaged gutters encompass many different types of problems, from the gutters not draining properly to them being installed at the wrong pitch. Fortunately, most issues can be repaired fairly easily. However, if your gutters are getting up there in age, they may need to be replaced altogether. That’s where our team at Legacy Service comes in. If you’re replacing your roofing, siding, or windows, then it may be time to replace your gutters as well. Contact us today to learn more about our home exterior renovation services.

In the next section, we’ll discuss how to fix gutter slope, whether they were installed incorrectly or they’ve been damaged due to inclement weather or pests.

Improperly Pitched Gutters

In order for the water to flow properly, gutters must be pitched toward the downspouts. The recommended angle is at least a quarter-inch of slope for every 10 feet. Luckily, there’s an easy way for you to determine if the gutters are at the proper pitch. After a rainstorm, get on a ladder and look at your gutter. If you can see standing water, the pitch is incorrect.

So, how do you fix the pitch of a gutter?

Here’s how you can go about fixing the guttering on your own. First, you’ll need a few basic tools: measuring tape, hammer, chalk line, and screwdrivers. It’s also a good idea to grab a buddy. After you have everything you need, here are the steps to take:

  1. Measure the gutter that you plan to adjust from the peak to the downspout.
  2. Snap a chalk line from the highest mark to the lowest.
  3. Find the places where the gutter is out of alignment.
  4. Try pushing it back into place by bending the hanger. If that doesn’t fix it, you’ll need to take the section down and rehang it.
  5. Run a garden hose in the gutter to check your work. The water should flow away quickly and completely.

If you have seamless gutters on your house, it’s best to call the company that installed them so that they can take care of fixing the gutter slope.

Downspout Too Close to Foundation

Downspout Too Close to Foundation

In other cases, your gutter’s downspouts may be draining too close to the foundation. Remember that they need to extend several feet away from the house, or they’ll end up dumping water into your basement or foundation, which could cause much more significant problems.

The good news is that there’s an inexpensive and easy solution to this problem: gutter extensions. Attach your gutter extensions to the bottom of the downspout to discharge water beyond the foundation. Experts recommend extending the downspout material about four to five feet and screwing it on for security. They’re also inexpensive, typically costing less than $20 per downspout.

Missing Gutters

Perhaps you purchased a house with no gutters at all. It’s highly recommended that you invest in a gutter system to protect the rest of your home and property. The cost of the system will depend on a variety of factors, depending on where you live, the contractor you choose (or if you decide to do it yourself), and the materials you use.

Most gutters on residential homes are made of aluminum, which is lightweight and durable, and it’s typically the perfect choice for most homeowners. Unless something damages aluminum gutters (such as inclement weather, fallen trees or branches, or pests), they’re designed to last for decades to come.

Other material options for gutters include vinyl, copper, and galvanized steel. It’s best to consult with a professional before you make any decisions. If you’re seeking roof installation for your house and would like to install gutters with it, please contact our team here at Legacy Service. One of our technicians will be able to provide you with a free consultation, whether you’d prefer in-person or over the phone.

Gutter Replacement

Contact Us to Learn More About Gutter Replacement!

Those are the most common gutter problems homeowners face. We hoped this article helped you determine which one you’re dealing with so that you can repair it quickly and easily. The good news is that if you’re able to climb a ladder, you can solve most of these problems yourself and with the help of a friend.

However, you may need gutter replacement. If that’s the case, get in touch with your local roofing company. At Legacy Service, we offer gutter replacement services along with roofing or siding installation to enhance your home’s durability and improve its appearance. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation for roofing, siding, windows, doors, or gutter replacement. We serve homeowners throughout southeastern PA, NJ, and DE.