No matter if the gutters are on a humble cottage, a majestic mansion, or a skyscraper downtown, they all serve the same purpose and encounter the same common problems of clogging, leaking, sagging, and pests.
Debris such as leaves and pine needles get blown around and inevitably wind up on your roof. With a little wind or rain, they fall into your gutter where they start to decompose and pack down into a solid sheet of material. Dirt, dust, and the granules from asphalt shingles can also clog your gutters.
Many factors that can cause leaks in your gutters. Corrosion is the biggest factor, followed by falling branches or damage caused by sharp tools. Some leaks are intentional as people drill holes to assist drainage in sagging sections, which is not the way to handle sagging. Leaks should be repaired immediately to avoid the damage that can happen to your foundation or walls if clogged.
When a gutter sags, the rainwater pools in the sagging section. Some people mistakenly “repair” these sags by drilling holes to let the water drain. This defeats the whole purpose of a rain gutter, which is to direct water away from walls and foundations.
Metal gutters can get bent and vinyl gutters can break if hit by anything too heavy. During a storm, larger branches can break off of nearby trees and strike the gutters. Also, ladders leaned against gutters can bend them, especially if they clang against the gutter. Most people avoid this problem by using an A-frame ladder, but against a tall roof, you may have no choice. Because bending can crack a gutter and lead to leaks, replacing the section is recommended.
Disconnected from Downspout
Any event, from high winds to earthquakes, can shake a connection loose. If your gutter gets disconnected from the downspout, water will fall freely to your foundation and cause leaks, mold, and erosion. Fortunately, a simple reattachment is all that’s needed.
Improperly Pitched Gutters
Gutters must be pitched properly to allow good water flow. With time, however, they can shift from their original pitch. Generally, gutters should slope towards a downspout at a half inch for every 10 feet.