Proper Gutter Maintenance – 2023

Envirotech Exteriors

The importance of regular gutter maintenance cannot be overstated, and it’s easy to miss the signs if you don’t take time for inspection. Your gutters are an important part in protecting your home from water damage so make sure they stay clean!. Your gutters will serve you for many years if you stick to a regular maintenance schedule. Some of the typical gutter repair problems are:

Clogged Gutters that Won’t Drain

Clogging is one of the most common gutter problems. Clogged gutters can’t drain properly and will overflow during the rainy seasons. When water can’t drain properly, you may experience issues with the foundation. Regular cleaning prevents the accumulation of dirt that could lead to clogging.

You can keep your gutters free from debris by sticking to a twice-a-year maintenance program. The ideal maintenance program may vary depending on the climate you live in. By late fall, most of the leaves have fallen, and it’s an ideal time to clean your gutters. You can also clean the gutters in spring, between March and April, to ensure that the gutters are clean by the time you receive the April rains.

What can you do to prevent excessive debris accumulation? If you feel like you are dealing with too much debris in your gutters, you may consider a gutter covers installation. However, gutter covers aren’t just expensive to install, but they also require regular maintenance.

Gutter Leaks and Holes

You might notice water pouring or trickling from the middle of your gutters. Leaks and holes can occur when you least expect them but are often easy to fix. Larger holes require patching, but you can use a gutter sealant to repair the leaky seams. You can buy patching kits at a hardware store and repair your gutters. When patching a hole, you should ensure that you use the same material as the gutter. Using a different material to patch a leaky gutter might lead to erosion.

Knocked Down or Damaged Gutters

Windstorms and heavy rainstorms could knock down or damage your gutters. If the gutters are not broken, you only need to re-fix or re-hang them. You might also need to replace certain areas of the gutters if the damage is extensive. There’s nothing much you can do to prevent gutter damage from natural causes. However, you should ensure that your gutters are well installed and secure.

Improperly Angled Gutters

Gutters need to be properly pitched or angled for the water to flow correctly. The slope should be ¼ inch for every 10 feet of gutter. It’s easy to determine whether your gutters are angled correctly. If you see water standing during a rainstorm, you probably need to adjust the gutters. At times, all you need to do is bend the gutter to the right angle. However, at times you might need to reinstall the hangers, and this calls for an expert.

An Inadequate Gutter System

If your home doesn’t have a proper gutter system, the consequences could be detrimental. It’s essential to have an adequate gutter system to prevent damage to your foundation or siding, especially during rainstorms. If you require new gutters, you should have an expert install them. This will help you avoid installation errors that could lead to additional issues.

The Sidewalk is in the Way

Pooling water on the sidewalk can change the aesthetic appeal and functionality of the entire sidewalk, rendering it useless. There is no error-free way of getting water from such places, but a retractable downspout can minimize the damage and effects of water leaks. Retractable downspouts are not very effective with light rains, but they can be very efficient with moderate or heavy rainfall. They extend when there is more water flow and connect to the main downspout, which drains that water away at the properly designated location. They then roll back into the retracted position when the rain stops. The leaking experienced with light rains will not be enough to damage your landscape. Installing them is also straightforward and will not require expert knowledge.

Gutters on Your House Are Loose

Loosening is a common problem with old gutters, especially those that were installed using ferrules and spikes. Tightening those spikes when they become loose does not provide a permanent solution. A better eavestrough repair method would be ensuring the gutters remain in the correct position by using fascia hangers.

Using gutter brackets is easy and can be done as DIY. Hook one side of the bracket on the gutter lip and place the other side on the fascia board. Do not tamper with any spikes if they are present. Removing them will leave a visible hole on your gutters, thereby reducing their visual appeal and increasing the chances of leaks.

Your choice of gutter brackets should depend on the type of roof you have. For instance, if it is a metal roof, brackets with in-built screws will be better. The same applies to shingles hanging too close to the fascia. Such gutter brackets are a little more costly, but they are easier to use, especially where accessing the fascia may be a little challenging.

Water Drips Behind Your Gutter

Water dripping behind the gutter is not a common problem, but it can still happen, especially in homes where the installation was done poorly. If your roofer did not use flashing when putting your gutters in place, you might need eavestrough repair for water drips during the lifespan of the gutters.

The best solution is to use a gutter apron. It is a device with a bent shape usually installed under the shingles and over the gutters. They should be installed at 10-ft intervals, which means you may be forced to remove the hangers as you proceed with the installation. Use sheet metal screws to tighten the aprons in place.

If you have a drip edge at the intersections between the shingles and the gutter, use roll flashing to install the gutter apron. That is essential if the eavestrough is below the drip edge. Make sure you tuck it properly over the gutter and under the drip edge. You may also need tin snips to cut the roll flashing in the recommended strips. Look for steel roll flashing if you have steel gutters to avoid the corrosion that usually happens between aluminum and galvanized steel.

Downspout is In The Way

Sometimes downspouts cause a lot of inconvenience by hindering other activities like mowing. One of the solutions you can try is installing a hinge at the lowest point of intersection between the downspout elbow and the part that runs into the yard.

For DIY installation, start by cutting the downspout at a 45-degree angle using a metal cutting blade or tin snips. Then connect a two-piece hinge using sheet metal screws. You can buy them online or at your nearest home hardware products store. Remember, you can always customize the hinges by painting them to match the colour of your downspout.

Sound of Drips Drives You Mad

The endless sound of dripping water in the downspout can be very annoying, but there is a quick solution you can try to stop it. Tie a rope on the hangers and let it run along into the downspout. Instead of water droplets falling directly into the downspout, they will cling to the rope, eliminating the sound.

However, using a rope can cause other problems. If your area is prone to lots of rainfall or your gutters are not clean, you may experience overflow. The debris clogging the gutters, together with the restriction caused by the rope, may cause flooding on the eavestrough, which may result in pooling water near the house when it rains.

Remember to use a nylon rope to avoid having to deal with rotting fibres.

Gutter Overflow During Heavy Rain

A gutter size that does not match the downspout size will automatically cause overflow problems, especially during heavy rain. For instance, you cannot have a 50 feet gutter connected to a 2 x 3-inch downspout and expect smooth water flow. So instead of installing an additional downspout to the gutter system, have a single big one like a 3 x 4-inch downspout.

The eavestrough repair process involves getting rid of the old downspout, then using the new drop outlet that comes with the new downspout to trace an outline to be used for the replacement. Cut appropriate-sized holes using a tin snip or an oscillating metal cutter. Then insert the drop outlet into the newly cut hole and attach the downspout using the correct screws. Finalize the process by applying seam sealer for gutters between the outlet and the downspout.

These accessories are not expensive and are available at home improvement hardware stores. However, you may spend a little more when you select colours that are not readily available such as brown. The other alternative is to buy the white ones and paint them the colour you prefer. Compare the costs and choose the option that suits your budget.

Consider Repairs With Slip Joint

Eavestrough repair with slip joints is ideal when only a section of the gutter is damaged. For instance, if a tree falls and destroys less than 5 ft of a 60-ft gutter, you can reduce repair costs by working on the damaged section only with the help of slip joints. The process is easier if you have a popular gutter colour like white because their accessories are generally readily available. However, you can still find a unique-coloured slip joint to match your gutter if you make a special order. You can also make one that suits your exact needs from a box mitre, especially since the mitres are available in a variety of colours.

It is advisable that you purchase a box mitre when you place an order for the new gutter section. It can be an inside or outside one. Using tin snip, cut the box mitre at three inches to get a slip joint. Next, place the new gutter near the old one and put the patch below the seam.

If you cannot handle the slip joint repair yourself, contact us now to do the job for you.

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