If your previously fantastic gutter system has started to show signs of leaking, it's something you should take very seriously. Leaking gutters are more than just a nuisance. They can lead to structural damage to your home if the water seeps into the roof edge or the walls, not to mention the water flowing against your foundation can cause leaks and water damage there as well. If you're not sure what is causing the leak, it's time to start some basic troubleshooting. Here are some of the first things you should look at before you call your gutter specialist.
Are The Gutters Clogged?
Sometimes the problem isn't so much with the gutters as it is what's in them. If your gutters are clogged with leaves, sticks, and other debris, the water won't be able to flow properly. This can lead to water flowing over the edges of the gutters instead of running through the gutter network like it's supposed to. On a day when the weather is clear, check your gutters to see if there are clogs anywhere. If so, you'll need to clean them out. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, hire a gutter company to do it for you. Once they're clean, consider covering them with a wire mesh guard or something similar to keep most of the debris out.
Are The Gutters Secure?
Loose gutters can also cause leak problems. No matter how your gutters are fastened to the roof, there's always a chance that the fasteners have come loose. Wind, rain, and other elements can be damaging, and that can cause them to break free. When the gutter is loose, water will often run over the back side.
Inspect the entire gutter system to see if there are any loose sections. Even if it's only leaking in one spot, it's in your best interest to check the entire thing. If you can catch some fasteners before they become too loose, you'll be able to prevent the problem from occurring further. Refasten any loose areas, and try to invest in some heavier fasteners if possible. While you're at it, examine the fascia boards for any damage. If the leaky gutters have damaged the fascia boards, they should be replaced before you try to re-attach the gutters, otherwise they aren't going to stay in place.
Is There Any Damage To The Gutters?
Cracks and holes can form in your gutters, even if they're metal. Pooling water can lead to corrosion, which can lead to holes. Cracks can form as a result of severe temperatures, excessive weight in the gutters, and more. Look for any visible signs of damage. Cracks can often be sealed with silicone sealant for temporary fixes, but you'll still need to replace any sections that have suffered damage. That damage is a sign that the section of gutter is weakened, so if you don't address it now, you'll likely have further problems later.
Is The Slope Correct?
The slope of your gutters is key to ensuring that the water flow runs properly to the downspouts. Temperature changes, weight in the gutters, loose fasteners, and even damaged brackets can cause that slope to shift. If that happens and the water isn't able to flow properly, you'll find yourself with water flowing over the side of the gutter instead. If you aren't sure of what the slope should be or you're having trouble determining if this is the problem, a gutter installation contractor from companies like Mr.Gutter, LLC can look at it and tell you. He or she may even be able to fix the problem for you, even if it means having to install a new section of gutter where the slope has shifted.