Leaking Gutters & What You Can Do About It
April showers bring May flowers, and they can also expose leaking gutters on your home. If your gutters are leaking, it’s because rainwater is not flowing correctly through your gutter system and away from your home. The good news is that with proper maintenance, the chances of your gutters leaking are greatly reduced. Here are some common causes of gutter leaks and what you can do to prevent these conditions in your home’s gutter system.
Leaks commonly occur in gutters because of their age. Older gutters typically come in sections and are either screwed or sealed together. Over time, the sealants break down and the screws fall out or come loose, allowing water to leak through the seams.
The Fix: One option is to remove the old sealant and replace it with a sealer that is specified for gutters. This will close up the leaks and prolong the life of your gutters. The other option is to replace your gutters and have new seamless gutters installed. To decide which option is best and most affordable for your home and budget, contact a professional to assess the condition and make an expert recommendation.
Improperly Sloped Gutters
Why This Causes Leaking: Gutters require a gentle slope to efficiently move water to the downspout. If the slope isn’t right or your gutters are sagging, the water will pool. This pooling causes gutters to corrode and rust and causes sealants to fail, resulting in leaking gutters.
The Fix: Have a professional gutter installer check the slope of your gutters and adjust as necessary.
Why This Causes Leaking: If your gutters are pulling away or falling off your home, it may look like you have a leak, but the real issue is that the water is running off your roof and in between the gutters and the roof’s edge.
The Fix: Reattach the gutters and install a stronger fastener if needed. In some cases, roof-to-gutter flashing may be required, but this option will only work if the fascia board to which it connects isn’t rotten or weak. Checking your fasteners should be part of your annual home maintenance. It can also be performed as part of a routine roof inspection conducted by a professional roofing contractor.
Why This Causes Leaking: Although clogged gutters aren’t always leaking gutters, they are a big reason gutters end up with leaks. A gutter is not meant to handle the weight of wet debris and standing water. The excess weight can cause seams to fail, and gutters to sag and pull away from the home—all of which lead to what appears to be a leaking gutter.
The Fix: Safely clean out your gutters twice a year or hire professionals to maintain your gutters. Also, installing a gutter guard system, like Gutter Helmet, will keep your gutters flowing freely without the need to climb a ladder.
For more information or assistance with your leaking gutters, visit our Gutters and Spouting page or call 717-367-6693.