While nearly every property owner is familiar with the general function of gutters, not everyone knows how to identify whether or not their gutter system is failing, or the consequences associated with a failing gutter system. Here are five common signs of a failing gutter system that you can look for, to help identify the need for repair or replacement.
5 SIGNS OF A FAILING GUTTER SYSTEM
If water is not able to drain at an acceptable rate, or if the water running off your roof is going over, instead of into your gutters, you will notice water spilling over the face of the gutters as it rains. During heavy rains, this may be seen as sheets of water. While less noticeable from ground level, but just as important, overflowing water can also spill in the opposite direction, back onto your roof.
Sagging Gutters & Improper Pitch
Gutters, when installed and functioning properly form a straight line, that is pitched downwards at a slight angle to allow water to run towards the downspout. If sections of your gutters are sagging or uneven, or if they have been installed at an incorrect pitch, the water will have trouble getting to the downspout, which can lead to water pooling in your gutters.
Damaged Fascia/Gutter Lean
In some cases, the fascia which the gutter system attaches to can become damaged or rotted. If the fascia is severely deteriorated, or if multiple attempts have been made to refasten the gutter to the fascia, thereby damaging the wood of the fascia, the gutter system will not have a solid surface to attach to, which can lead to the gutters coming loose, or eventually falling off. In extreme cases, the fascia itself can also come loose, and start pulling away from the home, which can give the appearance of your gutters pulling away from the fascia.
Water Pooling Around Your Home
A major function of a gutter system is to direct water away from your home’s foundation. If water is allowed to pool around the base of your home, it can erode the foundation of your home, as well as finding its way into basements or other areas under your home. As a general rule, water should be directed and drained a minimum of 4-6 feet away from your home.
Increase In Pests
If you notice an uptick in bugs around your home such as mosquitoes, this could be a result of water pooling in your gutters. Pooling water and debris can create an ideal environment for all sorts of pests to breed.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPERLY FUNCTIONING GUTTERS
The exterior of your home is largely designed to keep water from entering your home and causing damage. Your gutter system plays a major role in this. If a gutter system is not directing water away from the home, the various components of your exterior are taking the brunt of the job, and unless they have been specifically designed to do so without the help of a gutter system, they are at increased risk for damage.
If water is overflowing back on your roof, it can push under the shingles and find its way to the wood deck making it susceptible to rot. Continuous exposure can lead to water penetrating the decking and causing damage to your attic, rafters, and interior.
Gutters are often attached to a wood fascia. While water-resistant paint, or a covering such as vinyl or aluminum is often used to protect the fascia, they can degrade over time which can lead to water penetrating to the wood and causing rot or deterioration. One of the main functions of the fascia board is to keep water out of your attic, so any extensive deterioration to the fascia board can also lead to water in the interior of your home. Additionally, since the gutters attach directly to the fascia, if the fascia requires replacement, this will also require detachment and resetting of the gutters at a minimum.
If water from the gutters is cascading down your siding, the minerals and dirt in the water can leave behind stains that are not only unpleasant to look at, but hard to remove. While the stains can sometimes be removed via DIY methods, it is a time consuming process, and the staining will continue to occur until the root cause is addressed.
Perhaps the costliest form of damage, if water is allowed to settle around your home and erode the foundation, you may notice things such as interior walls and/or ceilings cracking, cracks in the exterior brick, walls leaning or bowing, and doors and windows that are hard to open. Foundation repairs and the subsequent damage it causes can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Mold & Mildew
Whenever there is prolonged water exposure in areas without exposure to direct sunlight, it creates an environment for mold and mildew to grow. If water is getting into your attic or basement, this can assist in the growth of mold and mildew inside your home. Excessive mold growth is not only a potential health hazard, it is also expensive to remove, and can require the replacement of materials such as insulation, drywall, ceiling tiles, carpet, wood framing, wood trim, etc.
Save Yourself Money and Headaches With A Free Roof & Gutter Inspection
If you notice any of the signs of a failing gutter system, understand that the issues you are seeing are only surface level. By contacting Brahma Roofing & Construction for a free roof and gutter inspection, we can identify what issues are occurring that are causing your gutter system to fail, and make the necessary repairs or replacement before additional damage is caused. Check out our gutters & downspout page for additional information, or contact us directly with any questions!