Common Gutter Problems

 

gutter-cleaning-before-and-after

Below is a list of common gutter problems we see everyday. The list includes some quick fixes and some cost analysis on repairing this vital part of your home. Some common issues found with a gutter system are:

  • Leaks at Seams
  • Sagging Gutters
  • Detached Downspouts
  • Downspouts not Properly Spaced
  • Excess Roof Shingle Overhang

GUTTER LEAKS AT SEAMS | IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS

Gutter leaks at seams contribute to water intrusion at homes. Hf-law  lists  water intrusion, as a very common insurance claim on a homeowners insurance policy.

gutter-leak-seamsIf the leak is documented on a residential sale , such as a home inspectors report or an Appraisal URAR , the policy will not cover any water damage that occurs once the leak has been brought to the attention of the homeowner.

While each policy contains different policy language and varying degrees of coverage for water damage, most insurance policies cover damage where the cause of loss was “sudden and accidental.”

The safest best is to have the leak repaired as soon as it comes to your attention. For an explanation on how to repair a gutter leak at a seam see our post here .

SAGGING GUTTERS | DETACHED GUTTERS 

Gutters sag for a few reasons :

  • They have not been cleaned and the debris/water has piled up which made the gutters too heavy for the gutter screws to hold or
  • The screws/nails attaching them to the fascia have rusted or pulled out due to the above listed conditions, or because of age.

Once gutters begin to sag and they are not quickly and properly repaired water intrusion begins to happen quite rapidly. As discussed by the HF-Law article, avoiding litigation and whether you have properly done due diligence in a claim; is something you want to avoid. Don’t put this task off . 

failed-gutter-screw

This gutter has become detached from the home due to excess water weight .

Downspouts detach themselves from the gutter system. It happens due to the above listed gutter problems or because the rivet or screw simply failed. Reattaching a gutter downspout is a maintenance issue, just like changing the oil in your car, sometimes it just has to be done.

DOWNSPOUTS NOT PROPERLY SPACED | EXCESSIVE WATER WEIGHT 

 gutter downspout placement

Gutter downspouts should be placed every 20 feet and no greater than 35 feet from each end.

Gutter downspouts should be placed at intervals not greater than 35’ feet. When they are placed too far apart the water slopes to one side and begins causing:

A. The gutter to sag due to the weight of the water held up on one side.

B. Rust at the bottom of gutters since water is sitting for extended periods of time.

EXCESS ROOFING OVERHANG | OVER SHOOTING GUTTERS 

carson Dunlop Photo | Excess Shingle Overhang Diagram

(c) Carson Dunlop Home Inspectors

Gutters are meant to accept the water flow from a  roof. If the roofing shingles are too long the water overshoots the gutter line. Typically a roof shingle should not extend past the gutter line more than 1″ inch .

The list of problems this begins to cause is a post in and of itself. We listed some costs associated with not properly maintaining your gutters here.