Eavestroughs are those exterior structures in your home that you rarely think about. So long as there are no visible signs of damage, you’ll quickly assume that the gutters are functioning the way they were designed to work.
Whether you own a custom built house or a townhouse, gutters, like all other elements that make up your home’s roofing, need proper care in order to do what they need to do – protect the home from damage. Simple things like cleaning the eavestroughs at least once a year will go a long way. Inspections also need to be done regularly to ensure the eavestroughs and gutters are in tiptop shape.
There are cases where repairs may be recommended from time to time. We’ll begin by looking at some common gutter repair issues we’ve seen in homes today and also cover some basics on eavestrough repair.
Most Common Gutter Repairs
Like most people, you probably don’t think about your gutters at all. You only think about the health of your gutters when something goes wrong. Your gutters are crucial, and you should pay more attention to them. Gutters help you maintain your foundation in good condition by channelling water away from your home’s foundation. You can’t afford to compromise your foundation, given that it holds up your home. Keeping your gutters in good condition helps you keep water off the foundation. Therefore, ensure that your gutters are always in good condition.
Proper Gutter Maintenance Prevents Damage
You don’t have to observe your gutters every day to spot damage, and it’s not hard to keep your gutters clean and free from dirt and debris. You only need to adopt a regular gutter maintenance schedule. You should not let your gutters go for months without inspection and maintenance. Your gutters will serve you for many years if you stick to a regular maintenance schedule. Some of the typical gutter repair problems are:
- Clogged Gutters that Won’t Drain
Clogging is one of the most common gutter problems. Clogged gutters can’t drain properly and will overflow during the rainy seasons. When water can’t drain properly, you may experience issues with the foundation. Regular cleaning prevents the accumulation of dirt that could lead to clogging.
You can keep your gutters free from debris by sticking to a twice-a-year maintenance program. The ideal maintenance program may vary depending on the climate you live in. By late fall, most of the leaves have fallen, and it’s an ideal time to clean your gutters. You can also clean the gutters in spring, between March and April, to ensure that the gutters are clean by the time you receive the April rains.
What can you do to prevent excessive debris accumulation? If you feel like you are dealing with too much debris in your gutters, you may consider a gutter covers installation. However, gutter covers aren’t just expensive to install, but they also require regular maintenance.
- Sagging Gutters
Sagging gutters result from the accumulation of debris, twigs, and leaves. The weight of this debris and dirt will make your gutters to sag. Hangers, the hardware that holds the gutter to the house, become loose and pull out when they can no longer support the excessive weight. Tightening the hanger screws could solve the gutter hanging problem. If the sagging results from the hangers being positioned too far apart, you can fix the problem by installing new hangers and placing them closer.
- Gutter Leaks and Holes
You might notice water pouring or trickling from the middle of your gutters. Leaks and holes can occur when you least expect them but are often easy to fix. Larger holes require patching, but you can use a gutter sealant to repair the leaky seams. You can buy patching kits at a hardware store and repair your gutters. When patching a hole, you should ensure that you use the same material as the gutter. Using a different material to patch a leaky gutter might lead to erosion.
- Knocked Down or Damaged Gutters
Windstorms and heavy rainstorms could knockdown or damage your gutters. If the gutters are not broken, you only need to re-fix or re-hang them. You might also need to replace certain areas of the gutters if the damage is extensive. There’s nothing much you can do to prevent gutter damage from natural causes. However, you should ensure that your gutters are well installed and secure.
- Improperly Angled Gutters
Gutters need to be properly pitched or angled for the water to flow correctly. The slope should be ¼ inch for every 10 feet of gutter. It’s easy to determine whether your gutters are angled correctly. If you see water standing during a rainstorm, you probably need to adjust the gutters. At times, all you need to do is bend the gutter to the right angle. However, at times you might need to reinstall the hangers, and this calls for an expert.
- An Inadequate Gutter System
If your home doesn’t have a proper gutter system, the consequences could be detrimental. It’s essential to have an adequate gutter system to prevent damage to your foundation or siding, especially during rainstorms. If you require new gutters, you should have an expert install them. This will help you avoid installation errors that could lead to additional issues.
What happens when the gutters are clogged?
Clogged gutters can cause havoc in your home. Gutters need to be properly maintained because they help protect your property from water damage. Clogging is common because debris, leaves and other unwanted elements could easily find their way inside the gutters. If you let them stay in the gutter system for too long, they become clogged and water cannot be channeled away from your home as it is supposed to. This results in costly damage.
Instead of exposing your roof to clogged gutters and reducing its expected service life, create a roof maintenance plan that includes gutter cleaning and eavestrough repair Kitchener. The unwanted leaves or debris inside the gutters limit water flow causing a blockage. The stagnant water could easily spill over onto the roof or find its way inside the shingles or the wood causing it to rot. Other than that, the water could also find its way into the house and damage areas such as siding, the fascia and window frames. In fact, a common sign to look out for if you suspect gutter damage is rotting or deterioration in areas such as the siding.
Clogged gutters can ruin a home’s foundation. When the gutters are clogged, water doesn’t get to the downspouts instead it falls right on your home’s foundation. When the gutters remain clogged for an extended period, you’ll notice a pool of water around the property’s foundation. The pool of water can easily sip into the property’s basement. Water is also not recommended near the home’s foundation as it could cause cracking.
How do you fix a leaky gutter?
First and foremost, you’ll need to do some investigations to find out where the issue lies. In most cases, the issue is with the gutter seams. Bear in mind that there are different types of gutters and each has its own unique approach to repairs. For instance, if your home has metal gutters, they could be exposed to water damage that leads to corrosion. Vinyl gutters, on the other hand, have several sections, which are connected by a gasket that deteriorates over time due to exposure to the elements.
How to repair a metal gutter
Begin by cleaning the area of the leak and removing any old sealant present in that section where water is sipping through. Once the joint is clean and dry, you can go ahead and apply a sealant. The most highly recommended sealant for metal gutters is silicone caulk. You’ll need to give it adequate time to dry. We recommend performing these repairs on a dry period when no rain is expected.
How to repair vinyl gutters
If a bad gasket causes the gutter issue, you will need to replace it. You can easily find a replacement gasket for your gutter at the local hardware store. If not, it’s best advised to reach out to the manufacturer of the gutter system who will recommend where to get the ideal gasket or better yet, consult a qualified eavestrough repair service to perform this replacement.
If you notice small, pin-sized leaks in your gutters, you can easily fix this by applying a sealant. You’ll need to keep a close eye at the sections that have small leaks and use the same silicone caulk to seal these areas. We don’t recommend using a sealant to seal large holes. If this is the case, consider replacing the entire section of the gutter that has been damaged.
How to fix a sagging gutther
Have some sections of your gutter started sagging? This is a very common issue that usually occurs due to the weight of water when it rains or snows. Sagging gutters can cause water damage because they won’t sustain the water causing it to overflow to the eavestrough and even ruin the property’s foundation. The gutters could be sagging because of a minor issue like a missing nail or a loose screw. Sometimes sagging occurs due to a more complex issue that needs professional eavestrough repairs.
If the gutter is sagging due to a loose or missing nail, you can easily fix this by tightening the screw or replacing the nail that was missing. You may also want to look out for the fasteners that are used to support the eavestroughs. Sometimes they get damaged or loose and need to be replaced. You may have to replace the fasteners in a different spot if the original location has become worn out and is unable to support the new ones. Just make sure that the angles are properly maintained so that the gutters do not incline in the wrong way. Ideally, gutters are designed to have a slight incline away from the downspouts. This helps to direct water away from the home’s foundation.
How long should you expect the gutters to last?
Just like different roofing materials, gutter systems have varying lifespans. On average, the gutter system will have a service life of about 20 years before it needs to be replaced. There are, of course, lots of factors that will determine whether the gutter system will live up to its expectations. For instance, materials like vinyl are known to be very durable and can withstand harsh climates. Additionally, the climate in your area, as well as the level of maintenance, will determine how long the gutters will last.
We have some really durable materials used in gutter systems today. Good examples are aluminum and galvanized steel, which can last for up to 20 years. Copper gutters are also very durable and probably the best option for homes that are prone to harsh weather conditions. Copper gutters that have been properly installed and well maintained over the years can last for about 50 years before you even consider a replacement. Although options like vinyl gutters are cheap and easy to install, they have a shorter life. The manufacturers of vinyl gutters give an average of 20 years as the expected lifespan but there’s a high chance that they will not even last this long. When choosing the material for your gutter system, consider things like the climate in your area e.g. vinyl doesn’t do so well in cold climates. It can become brittle and prone to cracking in low temperatures.
Your eavestroughs need proper maintenance in order to give you good value for money over the years. Consider hiring a qualified roofing professional to inspect your gutters regularly and make sure cleaning is done at least once every year.