Most homeowners take matters such as the gutters for granted until a problem arises. Your home’s guttering system, however, serves the vital job of preventing rainwater from soaking the soil near the base. Bi-annual inspection and periodic maintenance will keep your gutter system in top form. When you identify gutter problems early, most are easy and inexpensive to repair.
Finding and cutting off debris and leaf clogs is the first step when troubleshooting the gutters. Do this at the autumn following deciduous trees drop their leaves and again in the spring. Eliminate dry clogs and leaves, and flush out the gutter and downspouts using a garden hose.
Horizontal guttering should slope slightly toward the downspout. A descent of approximately 1/4 inch for every 10 lineal feet is adequate. To check the gutter pitch, then run water from a garden hose to the flat gutter about halfway between the two ends and observe what happens. Whichever way you guide the water stream, when you remove the garden hose the water must run toward the downspout and drain off. If it runs on other finish and puddles, the pitch is off and the usual culprit is a loose or bent gutter hanger.
Loose or Bent Hangers
The normal gutter process is comparatively mild to keep from adding undue weight to edge of the roof. Unless the gutter installation was flawed, most pitch problems are caused by bent or loose gutter hangers. From a ladder, then you can carefully bend a sagging hanger back up to raise the gutter in a low spot, but it’s very likely to bend again if you receive a heavy rain. The very best long-term repair is to add a couple of new gutter hangers beside the old ones to better support the gutter in those spots.
Caps, Seams and Seals
Guttering comes in sections, unless it’s seamless, and a potential leak website is created in which the sections link. With time, caulking or sealant could deteriorate or come loose. Eliminate the old sealant and wipe the area clean with a rag dampened in rubbing alcohol. Allow the area dry before applying new silicone caulking into the seam. Gutter end caps, which should also be caulked, can work loose and leak. Pull off the cap, remove the old caulking, and wash out the cap and the end of the gutter before adding new caulking and replacing the cap.
Inadequate Downspout Size
Conventional downspouts come in various diameters, and the most frequent size is about 3 inches. Issues come during periods of heavy rainfall once the downspout is not able to drain the water from the gutter as fast as the gutter fills. The excess water then spills over the gutter and soaks the ground. It is usually not feasible to add extra downspouts, so the best remedy might be to replace the current downspout using a larger-diameter downspout.
To transfer the rainwater away from the base, the downspout must open into a drainage tray that carries the water at least three feet away in the house. Alternately, it is possible to attach a downspout extension that empties the water three feet from the base.