Home gutter maintenance is more than just digging leaf goo out of the trenches. Your gutter system is designed to pull water away from your home keeping your roof, walls, and foundation dry. When your gutter system goes wrong it can lead to all kinds of house problems, including damaged roof, leaky basements, and generally getting water where it shouldn’t be. As wonderful as water can be in a hot shower or a dishwasher, having uncontrolled water in your home is a recipe for rot, mold, and structural problems. Gutters are an important part of that water control system.
So What Can Go Wrong With Gutters Anyway?
- Clogged gutters
- Gutters out of alignment
- Leaky gutters
- Damaged gutters
- Water getting behind the gutters
- Rusting gutters
- Loose gutters
How to Check Your Home Gutters for Problems
The best time to figure out if something is amiss with your gutters is when it’s raining. So tug on your galoshes and raincoat the next time it’s raining and take a look at your home’s rain removal system. The gutters shouldn’t be overflowing or leaking. If you have your own personal Niagra Falls it’s time to do some home gutter maintenance.
You’ll also want to inspect your gutters when it’s dry. Look for loose or missing gutters, damaged parts, cracks, rust, and damage to the soffit behind the gutters . It’s important to note if your gutters are properly angled toward the drain. Also check the downspouts and make sure that kids, cars, or mowers haven’t damaged the drainspout where it should come out from the house at least four feet.
Fixing your Gutters
Loose Gutters: if your gutters are older you may find that they’ve been attached to your house with spikes rather than screws and hanger brackets. Spikes eventually come loose and it’s better to replace them than try and pound them back into place. Generally they’ll just come loose again anyway. Just leave the old spikes in place, and then slip the hanger bracket onto the gutter. Attach the brackets with screws to the fascia and you’re all set.
Water Getting Behind your Gutters: if you’ve got water damage behind your gutters you may need to install flashing behind your gutters. Gutter flashing protects your roof and walls from damage, creating a water barrier. This gutter apron will prevent drips. You may need to remove the gutters in order install the gutter apron. Be careful cutting flashing, which is made from aluminum and needs tin snips to cut. Any time you’re cutting metal wear thick gloves and protective gear.
Leaky Gutters need sealing. Gutters are made from a lot of pieces to shape around the outside of your roof. Each connection spot is a potential leak, and the best way to fix that is gutter sealant. Don’t just buy any old caulk. You’ll want to use a product that is formulated specifically as a gutter sealant. High quality gutter sealant is runny, so that it can ooze down into the joints of your gutters. Make sure to clean your gutters well and remove as much of the old sealant as you can before you apply new sealant.
Sagging Gutters: if your gutters are sagging you may be able to tighten the brackets using a screwdriver. If they are are clean and straight but still aren’t draining properly, they may be misaligned. Gutters should be tipped every so slightly toward the drain about a 1/2 an inch for every 10 feet of gutter. It’s not enough to see, but it’s enough of a tip to get that water moving toward the drain instead of stagnating in your gutters.
Home Gutter Repair is Healthy for your Roof
Your roof is what keeps your home dry and safe, and your gutters are an important part of that system. Gutters should be transporting all that water that falls on your roof safely away from your home. If you’re having problems with your gutters, there are some easy repairs you can do improve your home’s gutters. If you need some help, we’ve got you covered.
We can quickly and effectively assess your gutter system for problems, and get your roof shedding water so your home stays dry and cozy.
About Weather Vane Roofing
We provide roofing, siding, insulation, windows, and gutters. Making your house beautiful and efficient is our main goal. We use the latest in technology and products to provide eco-friendly and cost-effective solutions for your home and business. With locations in Lansing, Owosso, and Brighton/Howell we are Mid-Michigan’s roofing experts. Let us transform your house into a home.