When your gutters work, you don’t really notice, but when something goes wrong with the gutter system, it’s probably past the point of a quick fix. And it’s most likely going to be expensive to make it right. Knowing the kinds of rain gutter problems to look out for and taking the appropriate action can help you avoid costly breakdowns.
Debris that has not been removed from the gutters can build up, obstructing the flow of water from the gutter channel to the downpipes. When rainwater isn’t allowed to exit the gutter system, it causes the gutters to overflow. Water that isn’t correctly channeled typically lands up in places it should not, resulting in rotting fascia, damaged soffit and creating an environment for mold and mildew.
Gutters leak at the seams where gutter sections have been joined together. If you’re reading this and breathing a sigh of relief because you have seamless aluminum gutters, you still have to be on the lookout for leaking seams at any of the corners of the gutter system. Leaking gutters are usually the result of worn seams, aging sealant and/or external damage.
Gravity rules – if water cannot run downwards, it stays put. Stagnant water not only creates its own problematic ecosystem, it also adds weight to the gutters that can cause them to sag or pull away from the fascia. Proper pitch for gutters is a ¼” slope toward the downspouts for every 10’ of (uninterrupted) gutter section.
There is something else to consider regarding rain gutter problems. While gutter problems might cost you big bucks up front to fix, the black streaks, stains and mold patches from resulting water damage, if left unattended, can cut into the resale value of your home.