Pacific Sheet Metal Blog

How to Fix the Most Common Gutter Problems

Posted by Joey Haack on May 7, 2018 7:09:00 PM

spring-gutter-problems

As the rainy spring and summer months approach, it’s more important than ever that your gutters are working at full capacity. Check out our guide to the most common gutter problems and how to fix them so your home is prepared.

 

Leaks

Leaky gutters are about as effective as a garden hose with holes in it. Leaks can develop several different ways and may look different every time. Cracks or holes from rusting, impact, or aging can cause leaky gutters. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to spot where the leaks are located. 

 

How to Fix It

Fixing your gutter will be much easier with a partner, so grab a family member, friend, or neighbor to help you with your task. Position one person at each end of the gutter. Using a ladder, have one person pour water from a bucket, pitcher, or hose into the gutter and allow it to run the full length of the track. Meanwhile, have the other person mark any leaks with a piece of tape. Sometimes, it will be helpful to repeat this process several times.

After you’ve located all of the leaks, use caulk or putty to seal the cracks and holes. Allow the sealant to dry, and then test it again. If you’ve done your job well, there should be no more water escaping from your gutter. Continue this process with each gutter around your home.

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Warping

If your gutters are warped, they can ruin the pitch of the system and allow water to pour out the sides, rendering them ineffective. Warping may be caused by old age, severe weather, or hard impact. Whether it can be repaired will depend on the quality of your gutter and the severity of the warping. If you aren’t sure whether to toss your gutters in the garbage, read our article, “How to Tell If It’s Time for New Gutters.”

 

How to Fix It

Begin by doing a visual inspection of your gutter system. Take note of any areas with noticeable warping. Using a ladder, unscrew the hardware securing the gutter to your home. Each gutter system is different, so if you’ll be removing a large piece of track, it may be helpful to have a partner assisting you. Remove all of the areas that are warping, and then assess their condition. If the tracks are fairly new and easy to bend back into shape, then by all means, do it! Old gutters that have lost the integrity of their shape may not be worth salvaging. After you’ve determined which pieces you’ll be able to reuse, reattach the tracks to your home. Measure any missing areas, and replace them with new gutters.

 

Sagging

Sagging in your gutters is most often caused by a lack of support. As your gutters fill with rain, the weight of the water causes the unsupported track to bow. This is usually a quick and easy fix for homeowners.

 

How to Fix It

First, go around and secure all existing hardware on your gutter system. Over time, the hardware can pull away from your home or deteriorate to a point of disrepair. Address any areas that feel loose by tightening or replacing the hardware. Once this is done, add in new hangers for areas of your gutter system that need additional support.

 

Detachment

Detachment, like sagging, is usually caused by a lack of support. As your gutters fill with rain, the weight of the water pulls the tracks away from your home. This causes your gutters to be completely ineffective—their one job is, after all, to keep water away from your home.

 

How to Fix It

Tighten all hardware around your gutter system so that the tracks are tight against the façade of your house. Add extra support hardware where needed.

 

Clogging

Over time, your gutters will fill with leaves, twigs, and other yard debris. If left unaddressed, these materials can clog your gutters and prevent water from flowing away from your home. This is a fairly simple fix and can even be prevented with regular maintenance.

 

How to Fix It

Using a ladder, work your way around the perimeter of your gutter system. Clean out any vegetation, dirt, and other debris that might be clogging your gutters. For best results, clean out your gutters early in the spring and late in the fall. Never stand on your roof to clean your gutters.

 

Poor Sloping

A poor slope in your gutter system likely occurred at installation. Poor sloping can hinder your gutter systems and prevent them from effectively directing water away from your home.

 

How to Fix It

Visually examine the pitch of your gutter system. If it seems off, use a tape measure to determine whether it’s sufficient; your gutter should descend at least ¼” for every ten feet of length. Changing the peak in your gutter system can be challenging, so you’ll likely want to contact a professional to do the job for you.

 

Have you tried fixing your gutters, but to no avail? Contact Pacific! Our trained professionals will handle all of your gutter service needs and prepare your home for the weather ahead.

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Topics: gutters