Your gutters are an important part of your roofing system. They help protect your roof and your house from water damage by channeling any water away from the structure. For this reason it is important that you gutters remain in good repair.
There are several common gutter problems that are experienced by most homeowners. Some are easy to fix yourself while others require the work of a professional.
Here’s a quick guide to help you determine and solve your gutter problems:
One of the most common gutter problems is clogging. Clogging happens when leaves, dirt, dust, and debris get trapped inside the gutters, reducing (or stopping) the flow of water. To fix a clogged gutter it is necessary to remove all the items inside the gutter. You can clear all the items by hand and then flush the gutter with water to make sure that everything has been removed. It is recommended that you clear your gutters twice a year to keep them in their best condition.
NOTE: Clearing clogged gutters is – at best – messy work and – at worst – a dangerous task. One of the most common accidents that sends homeowners to the emergency room is someone falling off a ladder while attempting to clear out a clogged gutter. While it is possible to do yourself, if you feel at all unsure on a ladder (or simply don’t want to deal with the mess), then call a professional roofing company to have your gutters cleaned.
It is common for gutters to eventually start sagging or to pull away from the house. It usually results from a problem or weakening of hardware that secures the gutter to the fascia. If you feel handy with your tool kit, you can find replacement hardware (which consists of hangers and fascinators) at your local hardware store. If not, or if you don’t want to spend time on the latter, you can have them replaced by a professional.
Leaks can develop along different joint sections of your gutters. This usually happens when the sealant erodes over time. This can be easily fixed by caulking the joint with gutter sealant, which is available at your local hardware store.
If your gutters develop holes, then you want to patch them with either gutter sealant or, in the case of larger holes, a patch. You can purchase a gutter patching kit at your local hardware store.
If you gutter is not pitched at the correct angle, then the water will pool instead of running away from your house. You will need to rehang the sections of the gutter that are out of alignment. If you are not comfortable with re hanging gutter sections, finding the proper angle, or if you have seamless gutters, then you will need to call a roofing professional to get the job done correctly.