You may not think about your gutters until you notice an issue. Your gutter system protects your roof, siding, and foundation from water and storm damage. However, damaged gutters can cause more problems than they solve. In this blog, we list 10 of the most common gutter problems to watch for.
1. Clogs Created by Dirt and Debris
In order for your gutters to function properly, they must stay clean and clear so that water can travel effectively. Unfortunately, many uncovered gutters can easily become filled with dirt and debris, such as shingle pieces. These clogs affect gutter performance and can even pose a safety risk during removal since the debris could include nails or other fasteners, broken glass or metal, or other lost objects.
2. Insect Infestations
Neglected and damaged gutters often become the homes of insect infestations. Because gutters offer small, dark spaces that are usually humid, they appear inviting to common insects. While many of these insects are fairly harmless, they can cause gutter clogs. Additionally, in some cases, these infestations may include dangerous species such as wasps. Many stinging insects follow prey insects so a single infestation can sometimes become two back-to-back nests.
3. Leaf and Twig Buildup
One of the most notorious gutter problems comes in the form of leaf and twig buildup. During the late summer and fall, fallen leaves and tree matter can find their way into your gutter system. These objects take up a lot of space and can cause clogs or trap moisture in the troughs.
4. Leaks and Holes
Leaks can occur in gutters for a number of reasons, including incorrect installation and improper trough spacing. Holes can also appear when fasteners come loose or when corrosion wears through the material, as we discuss in the next section.
5. Metal Corrosion
Most gutter materials become vulnerable to corrosion over time as their finishing wears away. If you have older or subpar gutters, you may notice rust spots or discoloration where the water has started to eat through the troughs.
6. Mold and Mildew
Good gutter systems direct most moisture out of the troughs effectively. Damaged gutters, however, often become a damp, dark place perfect for unwanted organic growth. Mold and mildew can block your gutters and certain mold species even pose a health hazard.
7. Overgrown Plant Matter
If you have trees planted near your home or vines that climb your exterior walls, your gutters become vulnerable to overgrown living plant matter. Tree branches which dip into troughs can give pests access to your gutter system, while strong vines can bend your gutters as they grow.
8. Small Pest Infestations
Uncovered gutters can look like the perfect nesting place for birds and small rodents such as squirrels and rats. These pest infestations reduce gutter functionality as well as endanger your roof and walls.
9. Standing or Stagnant Water
Damaged gutters may have sections which trap water rather than letting it flow past. When water lingers in these sections, it becomes stagnant. This standing water attracts pests, contributes to corrosion, and creates unpleasant stale odors.
10. Warping, Sagging, or Pulling
When gutters age or sustain damage, individual trough pieces may change shape. This alteration can encourage blockages and affect drainage. Pay attention to any sections which show warping or bending, sagging, or pulling away from your home.
You can lower the risk of most gutter issues by improving the overall system. For example, a Gutter Magician shield can eliminate trough buildup and all the problems that barrier causes. If you have noticed any of the gutter problems listed above, talk with a gutter expert to learn more about your options.