Six common gutter problems and what you can do to mitigate your risk (and costly repairs!).
The gutters around the roof are easily one of the most important, and yet underappreciated elements of a commercial or residential property. When you properly care for and maintain your guttering, it will provide excellent rainwater drainage and protect your roof from water infiltration. However, if you neglect the gutters around your roof, they will inevitably cause a myriad of problems to the infrastructure of your house.
Poor gutter installation or maintenance can lead to roof leaks, deteriorated roofing materials, water damage and even destruction to the foundations of your property. Gutters are designed to do one thing for your property: channel water from the roof and drain it away from the foundation of the building.
While the concept of guttering may be pretty straightforward, there are a number of things that can get in the way of gutters doing their job correctly. Here are the most common gutter problems faced by property owners:
6 Common Gutter Problems Explained
1. Clogged Gutters
Clogged gutters are by far the most common problem faced on every type of property. Over time, gutters will inevitably become filled with dirt, leaves, general debris and even insect and bugs. Buildings with overhanging trees and leafy surrounds are particularly prone to clogged guttering. If you don’t regularly clean your gutters out, this build-up will only accumulate and cause problems for your gutters. Clogged gutters prevent water from draining, put unnecessary strain on the guttering system, and create areas for water to infiltrate the roof cavity.
2. Leaking Gutters
Leaking gutters are one of the most common gutter problems that can occur on any property. When guttering springs a leak, it can become pretty damaging. After all, gutters are put in place to channel and divert water to a particular area; a leak entirely compromises the system and can damage the exterior walls, siding and foundation of a property. The most common causes of a leaking gutter are loose fasteners, cracks and holes.
3. Gutter Joint Separation
When gutters become clogged, aged, deteriorated or are even just installed improperly, the gutters may begin to pull and separate from the roofing or fascia board. Gutter joint separation is one of the most common gutter problems faced by those who do not take the time to care and maintain their guttering system. When gutter joint separation occurs, this leaves significant vulnerable area for water to damage walls, siding, gutters, fascia and roofing materials.
Gutter backflow occurs when rainwater draining from the roof edge runs under the roof or behind the gutters, instead of into the gutter troughs. Back-flow in your gutter troughs can be caused by clogged gutters, poorly situated gutters and improperly installed flashing around the gutters. If you find that your gutters are overflowing or suffering from backflows, you should have your gutters looked at immediately to avoid extensive water damage.
5. Improperly Installed Downspouts
Downspouts are designed to carry the water from gutter troughs to deposit it in a designated area, away from the building. If downspouts drain water too close to the building, this can result in pooling water and damage to the foundations of the residential or commercial site. Downspouts need to extend several metres from the house or commercial building, whether it be with gutter extensions or additional downspout material to prevent drained water from damaging the property.
6. Poor Sloping
In order for water to flow properly from the roof, gutters need to be sloped, angled and pitched correctly. If the pitch of your gutters is not accurate, water will collect in areas of the guttering, and not drain properly. Poor gutter pitching and sloping will eventually lead to rainwater pooling in the gutters, spilling over the sides, and damaging the roof. If you’re not sure if your gutters are pitched properly, take a look yourself. If there’s stagnant water, your gutters are not on enough of an angle to successfully drain rainwater and protect your property.
Metal Roof Gutter Problems
Metal roof guttering is a popular choice because metal materials are sleek, durable and weather resistant. However, there are some common metal roof gutter problems that are unique to metal guttering. For instance, some metal roof gutters may be susceptible to rust, which can cause significant damage and deterioration to surrounding roofing materials. Certain materials may be more prone to corrosion, damage, or separating from the fascia board and roofing materials.
Preventing Common Gutter Problems
Thankfully, preventing these common gutter problems is relatively straightforward. There are two ways to prevent your gutters from suffering from these problems:
• Rely on professional gutter installation & repair
• Implement regular gutter maintenance
Relying on a professional roofer to install and repair your gutters when necessary will mitigate the risk of common gutter problems that are caused by poor planning and installation. While it might be tempting to hire a cheap handyman or attempt a DIY project, gutter installation is not something that should be compromised. If you want your gutters to adequately protect your roof and drain water away from your property, you need to work with a roofing professional who is experienced in gutter work.
Regular gutter maintenance is the key to prolonging your gutters and preventing those pesky common gutter problems that so many property owners fall vulnerable to. Maintaining your gutters is the most important thing you can do to avoid water damage to your residential or commercial property. That means regularly inspecting your gutters and cleaning them out in the beginnings of each new season. If your building is in a particularly leafy area, schedule your gutter cleaning more frequently. Gutters are one of those elements of a house where routine maintenance and inspection can prevent larger problems down the road.
Vertec Roofing – The Gutter Specialists
While our core business is in roof repairs and roof restorations, gutter cleaning, and gutter maintenance play an integral role in preventing roof damage down the line. Taking care of your gutters year-round is crucial to protecting your home or commercial property. With more than 15 years of experience working on Sydney gutters, we’re more than confident we can set you up with a perfect guttering system that will stand the test of time. If you’d like us to take a look at your gutters, contact us today through our online form or give us a call on (02) 8007 4366.