Tips for Resolving Common Gutter Issues and Slopes
Maintaining your gutters' functionality is crucial to protect your home's structural integrity from water damage. Gutters redirect water away from the foundation, so keeping them free of clogs, sags, and holes is essential.
Fortunately, most common gutter problems are easy for homeowners to fix, and it's well worth the effort. The Director of Home Maintenance and Repair for Brothers Redevelopment in Denver, Jason Stutzman, emphasizes that routine maintenance and inspection can prevent bigger problems in the future.
In this article, we'll go over some common gutter problems and their recommended solutions.
Problem 1: Clogged Gutters
The most prevalent gutter problem is clogging, rendering gutters useless. When unchecked, leaves, twigs, and standing water accumulate, weighing the gutters and causing them to sag and pull away from the fascia.
You should clean your gutters once or twice a year if you have many trees around your house. The Managing Partner of New York City-based Top Hat Home Services, Gary Mindlin, suggests scheduling gutter care four times a year, with further checks after major storms.
If you're comfy on a ladder, don't mind getting dirty, and don't have an extremely tall house, you can unclog the gutters yourself. After removing debris, flush the gutters with a garden hose to ensure proper flow. Alternatively, you can hire someone to do the job for you at a cost ranging from $50 to $250, depending on your house's size.
If you have chronically clogged gutters, consider gutter covers like mesh screens, clip-on grates, or porous foam. Remember that these still require maintenance and can be more costly than the gutters.
Problem 2: Sagging Gutters and Gutters Pulling Away from the House
This problem is usually due to deteriorated hangers or fasteners that have backed out of the wood, or they're separated too far to help full gutters' weight. You can fix sagging gutters by purchasing hangers for $10 or less and fasteners for about $1 each.
Problem 3: Leaks and Holes
To seal leaky gutter joints, apply gutter sealant from inside the joint. For very small holes, fill them with gutter sealant, while bigger holes will need a patch. If you can't find a gutter patching kit, create one with metal flashing.
Problem 4: Improperly Pitched Gutters
For water to flow correctly, gutters must be pitched towards the downspouts, with at least a quarter-inch slope for every 10 feet. If there is standing water in the gutter after a rainstorm, it is not pitched correctly.
To fix this, measure from the peak to the downspout, and snap a chalk line between the two to find the gutter's misaligned spots. You can push it up into place by bending the hanger. If that fails, you should take a section down and rehang it. Call the company that installed your seamless gutters if you have them.
Problem 5: Downspouts Draining Too Close to the Foundation
Install gutter extensions that discharge water well beyond the foundation. Downspouts should extend several feet from the house to prevent water from entering the basement. Reggie Marston, President of Residential Equity Management Home Inspections in Springfield, Va., recommends downspout material extensions of four to five feet, screwed on, for under $20 per downspout.
Problem 6: Missing Gutters
If your house has no gutters, consider investing in a system depending on your preferred material. Aluminum gutters are the most common type of gutter, as they are lightweight and durable. According to Scott McCurdy, Vice President of Jacksonville, Fla.-based disaster repair contractor Coastal Reconstruction, an aluminum gutter will last indefinitely, barring damage. Other options for gutters include vinyl, galvanized steel, and copper.
Aluminum gutters range from $4.50 to $8.50 per linear foot installed. On a 2,000-square-foot house with approximately 180 linear feet of gutters, the installation costs about $800 to $1,500.
Protecting your gutters is essential to protect your home's foundation from water damage. Common gutter problems can be easily resolved with time and effort or by hiring a professional. By following the recommended solutions above, you can help ensure your gutters function correctly, reducing the likelihood of costly damage to your home.
No matter how big or small the project is, Asheville Seamless Gutters and Home Solutions Gutter Professionals aims to satisfy customers. Click here to book an appointment.