Your gutter system is one of the most important parts of your home. Unfortunately, it’s one of the most common things that homeowners forget about until there’s a problem. Don’t let out of sight be out of mind – when your gutter isn’t functioning correctly, it could mean major damage! While waterproofing your basement is a good start, damaged gutters can affect your home’s siding and even the roof if not corrected in time.
Performing your own rain gutter repair is often a lot easier than you expect, even for novice DIYers. Find out the most common gutter and downspout problems and how to fix them from EverDry Toledo!
Common Gutter Problems & Solutions
Clogged & Obstructed Gutters
One of the most common problems with rain gutters is clogging. Over time, debris builds up in your gutters and prevents water from flowing properly. In severe cases, it can even dam the flow of water completely, which puts your roof at risk for damage.
How to Repair It: While clogged rain gutters are common, they are fortunately easy to fix. Depending on the size of your house, all you may need is a ladder and a pair of gloves. Simply go around each section of the gutter, removing debris and inspecting it for possible damage.
Most homeowners will only need to do this about once per year, and spring is one of the best times to do it – not to mention some other important outdoor maintenance. However, if your house is surrounded by one or more trees, you may want to consider cleaning you gutters a few times each year. The more trees that can drop leaves or branches into the gutters, the quicker the buildup can hit critical mass.
It may also be worth investing in a gutter guard that helps prevent debris from entering your gutter in the first place. This doesn’t mean you never have to clean your gutters again, but it can help keep them flowing better between cleanings.
Leaks, Holes, or Deterioration
Your gutter is made up of multiple sections that are sealed or connected with gutter joints. Over time, no matter how they are joined together, the connection will deteriorate. Even well maintained gutters can sometimes suffer physical damage that opens holes or gaps. This results in leaking that drops water right against your siding or foundation.
How to Repair It: There are two ways to fix a leaky gutter. If the leak is coming from a tiny hole, such as one the size of a nail head, all you need is a little caulk. Silicone or gutter caulk can seal the leak without any additional help. Just make sure the gutter is free of any debris before you begin.
If the leak is much larger, you may need to use metal flashing to patch your gutter. Many home improvement stores sell gutter patch kits. Even if you can’t find a kit, you can create a patch by using tin snips to cut out metal flashing and using sealant to glue it in place.
Downspout Draining Too Close to House
A perfectly functional gutter system can be ruined by a downspout draining improperly. It’s important to make sure that the end of the downspout is taking the water an appropriate distance away. If it’s not, all the water caught and flushed away by the gutters will come right back. Drainage plays a significant factor in the health of your home’s foundation, so don’t ignore this common mistake!
How to Repair It: Fixing a downspout that’s draining too close to your home is very simple. First take a look and measure out how far you can extend the downspout. If you can fit it, six to eight feet from your home’s foundation is a good distance, but it will depend on your house and landscape. Then you simply need to purchase an appropriate length of gutter extension and attach it.
Sagging or Warping Gutters
Many rain gutter repairs start when their homeowners notice a spot where their gutters appear to sag or pull away from the house. Because there are several reasons a gutter may begin to sag, you need to immediately identify the cause. It’s important to discover the reason they’re sagging and the extent of the damage. In many cases, the damage is minimal and the repair is quick. However, if left too long, a warped or sagging gutter could allow significant water damage to affect your home.
Here are some common causes of warped or hanging gutters:
- Excessive rainfall
- Snow in the gutter freezing into ice
- Large volumes of debris
- Physical damage such as from tree limbs or ladders
How to Repair It: How you fix these issues depends on what caused them and what kind of damage they sustained. Sometimes the problem is as simple as a missing or damage hanger, which only needs to be replaced to correct the issue.
However, if the damage is substantial and you suspect water damage has made its way into your home, it’s time to call an expert. Not only can water seepage destroy your siding or foundation, it can promote infestation of mold or insects.
Signs of Bad Gutters/Downspouts
Sometimes the indicators that your gutter isn’t doing its job aren’t obvious. There are a number of potential ways to look out for damage to make sure a small problem today doesn’t turn into a major repair tomorrow.
- Siding Damage – This could be anything from a small crack to peeling paint. If you notice something is wrong with your siding, check to make sure the gutter isn’t letting water end up where it’s not supposed to.
- Cracked Foundation – If your foundation is cracked, it indicates that water is coming in from somewhere. Once you’ve fixed the source of the water seepage, make sure to repair any cracks in the foundation.
- Water Marks Under Your Gutters – Do you see water marks or damage directly under your gutters? That means they’re letting water overflow and you need to find the cause.
- Roof Damage – If your gutters are clogged and overflowing, it’s likely that the water will sit on your roof and seep into your house. Keep an eye out for signs of roof damage near your gutters.
- Mold – Mold can only thrive where it has moisture to grow. If you find mold around your foundation or anywhere else, you won’t be able to remove it until the source of water is gone.
Schedule a Free 20-Point Inspection
If you’re worried that your gutters are letting water seep into your home or would like an inspection to guarantee your foundation is in good shape, EverDry Toledo can help with a FREE 20-point basement inspection! We’ll help you find out if your home is at risk for water damage and which solutions will best serve you.
Contact us online to schedule an appointment or give us a call at (419) 469-5833 and schedule your inspection today!
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