Most people are aware that home maintenance is vital to preventing structural damage, basement flooding, and leaks and other moisture-related issues. While some maintenance tasks such as cleaning the gutters, clearing off the roof, washing the siding, and making minor repairs are fairly straightforward, ideal for DIY, sometimes they are not. Signs your gutters need professional attention include severely clogged gutters, cracks or pitting, and water pooling on your roof.
Severely Clogged Gutters
If the gutters haven’t been cleaned in a long while – two or more years – hire a professional gutter cleaning service to do the job for you. A gutter technician will be able to get the job done, depending on the amount of debris in the gutter troughs and how much ladder work is required, in two to four hours. They will also be able to tell you about any repairs that might be required and report any roof damage needing immediate attention.
It’s especially important to hire someone if there are plants or trees growing in the gutter troughs. Vegetation that has been growing in the gutter system for a while has roots – if they’ve entrenched themselves or infiltrated the downspouts they need to extracted carefully so as not to do any further damage.
Gutters don’t Drain Properly
When there is standing water in the gutters, it is usually because of clogs in the gutter trough or in the downspouts. Gutters need to be slightly sloped to help guide water toward the downspout. If the clogs have been removed from inside the gutter channel and around the gutter outlets but the gutter system is still not draining properly, it could be an indication that the gutter pitch is insufficient. A professional gutter installation company will be able to outline what is required to fix the problems and give you an estimate on how much it will cost.
Cracking or Pitting in the Trough
If there is cracking or pitting in the gutter trough or on the surface of the gutters, the gutter system is most likely beyond the point of minor repairs. Exposure to the elements will eventually make the cracks and holes larger, allowing water to escape, leaving water stains on the siding and/or pooling around the foundation. A gutter system that displays visible signs of cracking or pitting will need replacing sooner or later. Hire a gutter contractor to install new gutters before a total system failure can occur.
Pooling or Ponding on the Roof
Pooling or ponding on a roof typically occurs on flat roofs. However, when water collects on a residential roof with a slope of less than 30 degrees it can be a sign of one of several problems, any of which will need a professional contractor to solve. Reasons for roof ponding are:
- A damaged gutter system – repair or replacement
- A damaged roof – repair or replacement
- Doesn’t drain properly – needs repitching
- Shifting or other structural issues – consult a contractor who specializes in foundation repair
Addressing the specific problem will ensure water flows through the gutters the way it is supposed to.