What to do when Gutters Overflow

Signs of overflowing gutters include stained siding, pooling water underneath the eaves, and bald spots in your landscaping. Gutters that overflow can cause water damage to the parts of your home – the roof, siding, and foundation – responsible for protecting it from the elements. To avoid costly repairs and prevent structural failures, when gutters overflow consistently, the problem should be identified and fixed as soon as possible.

Clean the Gutters

The most common reason for overflowing gutters is that they are clogged. When gutters aren’t regularly maintained, debris collects in the gutter trough, eventually forming mini dams that block rainwater from flowing into the downspouts. Reasons to clean the gutters include:

  • Prevents water damage to the siding such as mold growth and wood rot
  • Discourages pest infestations
  • Stops soil erosion and harm to your landscaping
  • Protects the foundation from leaks

If you clean the gutters once a year or once whenever you remember to, hire a gutter cleaning service to clean them for you in the spring and in the fall (twice a year). Regular home maintenance will reduce the chances of debris clogging the gutter system and causing it to overflow.

Readjust the Gutter Alignment

 While dirty gutters are the most common cause for an overflowing gutter system, it’s not the only reason. Looking at your home’s exterior, the gutters appear to form a straight line across the front of the house. In actuality, gutters are slightly pitched to slope toward the outlet where downspouts are attached to the gutter trough. If the gutters were installed incorrectly or the gutter system has shifted since the initial installation, it could be the reason for overflowing.

Misalignment could be a simple matter of loose brackets. Tighten any hardware holding the downspouts and gutters in place. If the gutters continue to overflow DIY readjusting the gutter slope or get an estimate from a gutter company for the repair.

Add more Downspouts

If the cause of overflowing gutters isn’t a clogged or misaligned gutter system, check the annual rainfall for the number of years you’ve owned the house or since you’ve installed new gutters. It is possible that the area now receives more rain than it used to and the current number of downspouts is no longer adequate. Adding more downspouts or replacing 2 X 3 inch downspouts with 3 x 4 inch downpipes could fix the problem.

Upsize your Gutters

One of the other main reasons gutters constantly overflow is when they can no longer adequately handle the amount of water coming down from the roof during heavy rainfalls. If you’re dealing with an overflow problem, upsizing the gutter system now could be a cost-effective strategy to reduce the money you might have to spend on gutter home maintenance in the future.

Inspect the Gutters

Once you have discovered the root issue of your gutter overflow problem and addressed it, inspect the gutters from time to time, especially after an active weather system or a windy day. Visually inspecting the gutters and downspouts will help you be aware of any changes or damage that has occurred since the last time the gutter system was cleaned.