Common Ways Gutters End up Damaged
Let’s face it, we probably don’t even think about our gutters half the time. They are just sort of there, hiding in plain sight. In some ways, they are kind of like the AC unit or the household lights. The only time they do start to enter our thoughts is when they stop doing what they are supposed to. Moreover, while they may not seem to be essential parts of the house, the truth is that when gutters end up damaged it can have a serious impact on the rest of the house.
Gutters prevent water from seeping down the side of the house and over the walls, windows, and doors. This prevents water damage, as well as damp from getting inside the house. This can help prevent tens of thousands of dollars in property damage and very expensive repairs. So knowing the common ways gutters end up damaged can help you take the necessary steps needed to prevent them.
- Blocked Up Gutters
Perhaps the most common means of damage to your gutters will be when the gutters become blocked up from various types of detritus. Over time, this collective debris will start to block up major channels and drains, causing rainwater to pool up and start to overflow from the sides. This effectively makes your drains useless, so it is important to keep on top of blockages as much as you can.
It is possible to prevent blockages from forming by installing a gutter guard. This is a wire mesh that is placed over the gutter opening in order to keep large objects such as leaves or baseballs from falling into the gutter, thus preventing blockages. Otherwise, you just need to make sure you clean the gutter out every few weeks or so, especially if you’ve had a major storm or if it is currently fall.
- Weather Damage
Another common way for gutters to become damaged is during unusually high winds during a storm. If you’ve suffered a nasty one, then there’s a good chance that the gutter has been rattled out of its holdings, which make cause it to sag and leak water everywhere. In worst case scenarios, flying debris may even have knocked and damaged the gutter physically, which means the damaged sections will have to be replaced.
Other weather types to watch out for is heavy snow or hail. Both of these types can cause structural damage to the gutters that will need repairing. Meanwhile, if you suffer a snap freeze overnight, any standing water within your gutters will expand rapidly as it freezes. This can cause the gutters to warp, or even crack open.
- Leaks and Holes
Leaks and holes are commonly caused when the gutter’s connecting parts have been shaken loose to such an extent that water can seep through. If this is the case, then you just need to readjust and seal up those parts until they are watertight again, something that can easily be done in half an afternoon. It is rare leaks to be caused by physical punctures in the gutter itself, but if that does happen then the damaged part will need replacing.
- Sagging/Loose Gutters
If you’ve suffered a particularly nasty storm or quake, or if there has been any other event that may have disturbed the gutter, then you may suffer from sagging or loose gutters. This is where the bolts connecting the gutter to the house have come away a little, causing them to sag or lean away from the house. This can create standing water within the gutters, which could overflow. If the gutter is leaning away from the house, then the additional weight of the water could also make the problem worse.
Repositioning the affected parts and retightening their fixtures will quickly rebalance the flow of water, and prevent any further damage from occurring. However, it may be best to make sure that the sections of the house to which the parts were adjoined to are still capable of holding the screws.
- Human Activity
Now and then the activities of the household are going to cause damage to your gutters as well. This can be anything from one of the kids accidentally kicking a football into it, to constant foot traffic up and down certain parts of the home shaking the gutters loose from their holdings. The easiest way to prevent this damage is just to remind family members to be careful around the gutters, and to make sure you check up on their integrity now and then.
Gutters form an important part of your household, and so it is critical that you keep them maintained. If you notice any damage to your gutters it is recommended you turn to a qualified exterior repair service such as Aerotech, who can be found at http://www.thegutterexperts.com.
The writer of this article, Christian Mills, does everything he can to keep his home in perfect working order, religiously cleaning the home and clearing out the gutters. He offers tips and advice to his readers to help them keep their own homes in perfect shape. You can learn more about Christian on Google+.