Gutters are the simplest part of the waterproofing system. There’s no high-end technology behind them. They are just open-end pipes that sit on the lower edge of the roof. However, the role they play in keeping the home dry is essential. Gutters collect roof water and direct it away from the home where it can’t cause damage. Without them, the water would simply run down the walls of your home, causing damage to the property.
That’s why a homeowner needs to take care of the gutters and keep them running smoothly. When you notice leaks in your gutters, it’s important to address the problem right away and to find the cause of the leak. That will prevent any further and more complex damage to your Appomattox, VA home.
Why Do Gutters Leak?
It’s easy to pinpoint where the leak is coming from. Everyone can find out what the cause of the problem is simply by following the leak and inspecting it thoroughly. There are also a few common signs of gutter problems that you should be on the lookout for. By following these signs, you’ll figure out what has caused the drip.
What Causes Gutters to Clog?
One of the most frequent gutter problems comes from clogging. These fixtures tend to fill up with leaves, debris, and dirt. Those block the water from moving through the pipes. Over time, the water starts to pour over the edge of the gutter. This can happen quite quickly during rainfall. The homeowner will probably notice the ground around the home being soaked with this water. Clogs are easy to spot during the inspection of the gutters and the drainage system in general. On average Appomattox, VA has 44 rainy days, which is six more than the national average. 2020 was record-setting when it came to the rain and snow seasons in Appomattox. In total, 71 inches of precipitation fell, which is almost 30 inches more than the average. Gutters, therefore, play a big role in keeping your property dry. Unclogged and well-kept gutters will also prevent excess water from causing structural damage in the long run.
Even gutters of the highest quality can get damaged over time. Small cracks and holes are enough for the gutters to start leaking since water will find its way through them and end up damaging the home or pouring alongside it.
The first thing to do when you notice a leak is to look for the cracks. If you can’t find them, use a garden hose to pour water into the gutter and follow the leak from the bottom side.
Joints That Aren’t Installed Properly
When the joints aren’t sealed as they should be during the installation process, they tend to leak. Joints will also separate over time and water will pour through the crack in the joints. It’s important to check the gutters where the sections are connected and look for leaks in this area.
Again, it may be useful to use a hose to pour some water into the gutters and inspect the leak while the gutters are full and pouring over so that you can find the leak quickly.
Gutters need to be sloped downward so that the water flows down as well. It’s simple enough to notice a problem with the slope. The water will remain trapped in the gutters and they will start to bend and sag under its weight.
Keeping the Gutters Fixed to the Roof
Hangers, nails, and screws are used to keep the gutters fixed in place on the roof. They are driven through the gutter and into the fascia boards. When these fasteners become loose, the gutter moves and the water starts to drip from the hole.
Since the water will run down the fascia board, it may cause it to rot over time. It’s best to address the issue quickly before it causes further damage. That way you will only need to invest in fixing the gutter itself and not in repairing the damage caused by the water dripping from it.
What Can You Do?
There are ways to fix the problem without having to remove the gutters entirely. Here, we will discuss a few ways to fix leaky gutters (depending on the cause of the problem).
Unclogging the Gutters
If the clog is causing water to spill over the side of the gutters, the only thing to do is to remove it. Use work gloves to make sure your hands are protected from debris. A gutter scoop, a small trowel, or just your hands are the basic tools you need to remove the debris from the gutter. Place them in a trash bin and remove them from the area when you’re done.
In the end, you may want to use a garden hose or a power washer to remove the smaller debris and dirt from the gutters.
How to Seal the Cracks
When the gutters are cracked and water is pouring through them, it’s best to start by assessing the severity of the problem. If the cracks aren’t too large and there’s not too much damage to deal with, they can be sealed. This is done by using a gutter caulk or a sealant made out of silicone.
However, when the damage to the gutters is too severe, and cracks cannot be sealed, a homeowner will have to remove the gutters altogether and install new ones.
How to Fix the Joints
Loose joints are another common cause of gutter leaks, and when this is the case, it’s best to replace the sealant that can no longer keep the gutters watertight. If this isn’t an option due to severe damage, the whole joint needs to be replaced.
How to Fix the Loose Fasteners
When the gutters are leaking due to the problems with the fasteners, the best way to go is to replace them altogether. It’s especially important to do so if they have started to rot. It’s also useful to apply caulking and sealant to the fasteners, and in some cases, that means that you won’t need to go through the trouble of replacing them.
How to Fix the Sloped Gutters
When the gutters are not properly sloped and they appear to be heavy from the water gathered in them, the best way to go is to take the gutters down. That way you can re-hang the gutters so that the problem won’t appear again.
How to Maintain Gutters
A homeowner needs to take the time to maintain the gutters as much as they would any other part of the home. That way the gutters will stay in good shape and serve their purpose for a long time. Sometimes that’s as simple as cleaning the gutters with care at least twice a year.
Sweeping the roof also plays a big role in making sure the gutters are functional. However, it’s the thorough inspection of the roof that is the key to prolonging the life of your gutters.
If you are worried that your leaky gutters have caused damage to your foundation, contact professionals at Foundation Recovery Systems and schedule a free inspection.