A leaking gutter can cause all sorts of problems for your home, from water stains and rust to damage to your roofing system. If you’re a homeowner in Western Kentucky it’s essential to be aware of the signs of a gutter leak.
Causes of Leaking Gutters
There are several different causes of leaking gutters. Gutters can be damaged by heavy rain or snow, or they could get old and start leaking over time. If you’re experiencing a gutter leak in your home, it’s important to find the cause and fix it as quickly as possible.
There are numerous reasons why a gutter system may start to leak, including:
Open gutters are susceptible to clogs, which can cause water to back up and overflow your gutters. The clogs can be due to organic materials like leaves, twigs, and pine needles or artificial objects like tennis balls and toys. Gutter clogs can also lead to water backing up into your home’s fascia board, causing wood rot that can damage the entire gutter system in time.
Gutters are not complicated structures but have a specific slope angle so that rainwater flows toward downspouts for proper drainage away from your home’s foundation. During installation, a slight miscalculation could mean the gutters don’t have enough slope, allowing water to pool at low points instead of flowing freely to downspouts when it rains. Improperly attached fasteners may enable gutters to pull away from the fascia board and develop leaks in corners and seams.
If the pitch of your roof is designed to allow water to flow off the roof and down the drain, but your gutters are installed pointing uphill instead of downhill, then water will overflow the gutters and run down the side of your house.
Damaged or Missing Gutter Screens
Suppose leaves, twigs, and other debris can’t quickly enter your gutters because they are screened off with a good quality mesh guard, then there is less of a chance for clogs to form. If you don’t have any screens at all on your gutters (or if they are damaged or missing), everything from small twigs to huge branches can get caught in them and cause blockages.
Improperly Draining Downspouts
When the downspout is clogged or if it’s not connected to an underground drainage system, all of that rainwater will overflow your gutters and flow in whatever direction gravity dictates. Sometimes this means water will run back under the eaves and into your home; other times, it might pool around the foundation of your house or even flood the basement.
Improperly Sized Gutters and Downspouts
If you live in an area that gets a lot of rainfall, your gutters may be inadequate for the volume of water they receive. Gutters should be sized according to how much rainwater is likely to accumulate on your roof during a heavy storm; if they are too small, they will fill up quickly and overflow. The same is true for downspouts – if the downspout is too tiny for the gutter it’s connected to, that water will have no place to go but out over the edge of the gutter and onto your landscaping or house foundation.
Age of Gutters
Even if all other factors are perfect, a gutter system can wear out over time and start leaking. Gutters should be replaced every 20 years, depending on how often they are used and how severe the weather conditions are in your area.
Signs of a Leaking Gutter
Suppose you notice any of the following signs, it means that your gutters are leaking and need to be fixed as soon as possible:
- The gutter is overflowing with water
- There is a lot of standing water on the ground near the gutter
- The fascia board (the horizontal board at the edge of the roof) is wet
- The shingles or roof tiles around the gutter are wet
- Water enters your home through the eaves troughs (the metal or plastic channels that collect rainwater from the roof and direct it away from the house).
What To Do Now
Leaking gutters can be a big problem, both for your home and your wallet. If you are in Western Kentucky and notice any of these signs, the professionals at Gutter Boyz of Kentucky will fix your gutters and help keep them in good working condition. Give us a call today at (270) 906-3055 for a FREE ESTIMATE!