While regular maintenance prolongs the lifespan of a good gutter system, over time, gutters will eventually show signs of aging. One of these signs is sagging gutters. There are a number of reasons gutters sag, including rotted fascia, poor quality gutter materials, and not enough support.
Of course, the most common reason for sagging is that the gutters aren’t regularly cleaned. Gutters were never designed to hold water. However, they are perfectly designed to guide water through the downspouts, and then away from your home. When gutters do retain water, the combined weight of rainwater and water-logged debris weighs the gutter system down.
Gutters are typically attached to the fascia of a home. When fascia becomes water damaged or subjected to significant moisture buildup, fascia boards soften and are unable to hold the fasteners that keep the gutters in place. As a result of loosened hardware, sagging can occur, leading to overflowing gutters.
Poor Quality Gutter Materials
Regardless of the kind of gutter system that has been installed on your house, the materials will eventually age. When aluminum gutters, for example, start to deteriorate and rust takes hold, holes develop, compromising the gutter system’s ability to function properly. Leaking seams and gutter sections can cause more advanced deterioration. A deteriorating gutter system encourages debris buildup, resulting in gutters becoming so heavy they sag or break away from the fascia altogether.
Wrong Size Gutters
A gutter system should take into account annual rainfall, the size of the roof, and roof slope. When the gutters don’t match the needs of your home’s structure and geographic location, they work overtime to keep up. Often wrong size gutters fail to adequately protect your home. For example, the larger your house, the more square footage of roof there is depositing rainwater into the gutters. Over time this causes gutters to sag. Wrong size gutters can be corrected in one of two ways. First, they can be replaced with new gutters. Second, standard size downspouts can be replaced with larger downpipes.
Not Enough Support
Gutter hangers provide support and strength to the gutter system. If there are not enough hangers, the gutters won’t get the support they need. As the gutter system ages, if the hangers were spaced too far apart, the screws weren’t the proper length for their application, or metals were mixed (e.g. copper screws with aluminum gutters), gutters will begin to sag.