Gutter issues start even before their installation, such as choosing the incorrect material for your roof and climate conditions! Here some of the most common gutter issues that you must be aware of.
Incorrect Material Choice
While a cost-and-benefit analysis is warranted, it isn’t recommended because when it comes to gutters, durability should be the top consideration. With an incorrect choice in material concerning the environment, it’s akin to flushing cash down the drain! While vinyl, for instance, is the cheapest material, it won’t stand up to severe snow conditions, while copper, steel, and zinc will withstand nearly every weather. The more demanding the climate, the smarter it is to invest in more expensive gutter materials.
Incorrect Gutter System
Keep in mind that gutters should ideally be custom-fitted to the shape, size, and type of roof over your home, as well as to the environmental conditions of its location. You don’t want to spend money on an incorrect gutter system that will last for a few years before it starts to sag, separate from the roof, or see better days.
Seamless gutters are more popular because of their customized size and fewer seams, which means lesser leaks and other issues. Gutters in areas with heavy rains must have reinforced brackets, while those with overhanging tree branches should have gutter protection. The improper installation of drip edges and gutter troughs will also contribute to issues down the road.
You are well-advised to consult with a professional regarding your choices in gutters in terms of style, size, and materials, among other considerations.
The gutter pitch refers to the amount of slope that the gutter has for directing water flow. An incorrect slope will result in several issues, including pooling and overflowing. If a pitch is too shallow, it will prevent the smooth flow of water and result in water pooling up in the gutter and damaging it. If a pitch is too steep, it will cause the water to flow too quickly and flow over the gutter’s edge.
The rule of thumb is for the gutter pitch to be 1/4-inch for every ten feet of gutter.
Improper Spacing of Hangers
Hangers are used to attach gutters to the main structure itself, and their spacing is critical to the gutters’ effectiveness. If the hangers are too far apart, the gutters may be insufficiently supported, resulting in sagging portions or water pooling in many areas.
The area’s climate also dictates the appropriate spacing of hangers. For areas with occasional rainfall, 36 inches of space from the center is sufficient. For wet climates with heavy rainfall, 18 inches should be the maximum distance.
Sagging Gutters and Joint Separation
With sagging gutters, the common causes are the incorrect installation and deterioration of the hardware used in fastening the gutters to the fascia. The gutters aren’t supported well, so when rainwater, snow, and plant matter accumulate on them, certain parts will sag, if not separate from the fascia.
Tip: Don’t use glue or caulk in joining two pieces of gutter together since these aren’t strong enough for the job. Use rivets in connecting them instead.
These are caused by the accumulation of a wide range of things, from falling leaves, twigs, and cones to the buildup of water, snow, and ice. Keep in mind, too, that clogged gutters can be caused by incorrect choices in materials, style, and design, such as an incorrect slope made before and during installation. The excessive weight caused by the detritus buildup can lead to other gutter issues, such as joint separation, sagging sections, and cracks.
Leaks are common with clogged gutters, especially when the sealant between the joints has worn off. These can also be caused by loose fasteners, cracks, and holes in the gutter system itself.