Are Your Gutters Underperforming? Use This Checklist to Find Out
Have you noticed your gutters leaking, overflowing, sagging, or not draining? If you think something isn’t right with your gutters, this list of common gutter problems may help you narrow down the source. Many rain gutter problems bear tell-tale signs that are easily identified with some investigation. Follow this list of potential gutter issues next time you inspect your gutters. If you catch rain gutter problems early, you can prevent costly damage.
Exterior gutter rain gutter problems
- Dirt outside the gutter: This gutter issue could be a sign that your water management system has been overflowing. You may have a gutter drainage issue (like a clog) that’s causing the water to escape over the top of the gutter instead of through the downspouts.
- Paint damage: If there’s discoloration, chipping, or even staining on the siding or the eaves (but nowhere else), you may have a problem with your gutter not draining. Instead, it’s seeping behind the gutter and damaging the outside of your home.
- Gutter sagging: Is there a bend in the middle of your gutter? It’s possible a bracket has broken or become loose. Instead of flushing through the gutter, leaves, needles, and twigs get stuck in the bend. Without the proper support, your gutter is struggling to carry the weight of accumulated debris.
- Gutter holes: Holes have one thing going for them- they’re easy to spot. Pour some water into your gutter and look for any gutter leaking. Unfortunately, steel gutters can rust, leading to holes in your gutter. If you have another material, like aluminum, a gutter hole could be caused by an animal, damage from a nearby tree, or even tools. Many gutters have been damaged by well-intentioned homeowners hanging Christmas lights.
- Gutter cracking: This common gutter problem is typical for homes with vinyl gutters, particularly in environments with extreme heat and cold temperatures. Cracking can lead to even bigger problems like gutter leaking or overflowing.
- Landscaping problems: Is your mulch washing away? Are you missing a patch of grass near your roofline? Look up. The problem could be the result of gutter leaking or overflow, causing water to pour into your yard in a concentrated way.
Interior gutter issues
- Clogged gutter: This one is an obvious gutter problem. If you see a pile of leaves, twigs, helicopter seeds, or pine needles filling your gutter, that’s bad news. Roof granules can also build up inside your gutter. Clogs block the proper flow of water and should be removed right away.
- Standing water: If you see a pool of water inside your gutter, that’s bad news. That means the water isn’t able to drain properly. The slope of your gutter may be wrong, or perhaps there’s a clog. Either way, this needs to be fixed before mosquitos make a home inside your gutters or other damage occurs.
- Mold & mildew: Mold and mildew are both signs that water has been allowed to sit in your gutter too long. It’s a physical symptom of a problem like a clog or improper sloping- and it could be a health hazard.
How to address your gutter not draining
Some gutter problems can be addressed with a little elbow grease. If your gutter is not draining and you see a clog, that’s simple enough to fix. Just get on a ladder and pull the debris out of your gutter. But if that doesn’t fix an overflow issue, or if you see holes, sagging, or landscaping issues, it’s best to call a professional sooner rather than later. Ignoring gutter problems does you no favors in the long run.
It’s also important to consider when to replace your gutters instead of just repairing them. For example, a rusty gutter that’s full of holes is not worth saving, but a simple clog could just mean you need to clean your gutters more frequently.
Helping you navigate common gutter problems
A professional can help you through the pros and cons of replacing your gutters. And, if you’re ready for a maintenance-free solution such as a seamless covered gutter, you can call LeafGuard of Cincinnati for a complimentary estimate.