Most Charlotte roofing companies will offer gutter repairs as part of their roofing services. Why? Gutters and downspouts are an essential part of the drainage system in any home. If you don’t clean your gutters or perform an occasional gutter inspection, the consequences can be damaging to your roof system, siding system, and home foundation. Charlotte roofing companies understand the importance of a gutter system as a complete home defense system (along with your roof) from outside elements – this includes water intrusion and pest intrusion! Here are a few tips to repair your gutters. When in doubt, or if life is just too busy, call a local roofer company to perform the inspection for you.
Common Gutter Drainage Issues
We did an entire post on common gutter drainage issues and how to improve your gutter drainage – click here if you’d like to read more. For this post, it’s still important to talk about why you would need gutter repair services in the first place. Poor gutter drainage can cause the following issues:
- Wood damage.
Fascia boards, the long wooden boards that run along the lower edge of the roof, hold the gutter system onto your home. When gutters have poor drainage, water can overflow onto the fascia boards and down your siding. These wooden boards will start to decay and rot, compromising the health of your home’s exterior defense system.
- Foundation damage.
The primary function of gutters is to re-route water away from your home. Blockages in a gutter system, or even poorly placed or insecure downspouts, can cause water to pool around the perimeter of your home. This pooling, over time, can cause serious cracks to form around your home’s foundation. This is a very expensive repair, so it’s best to repair your gutters before this problem occurs.
- Roof damage.
The risk of roof damage from gutters with drainage problems increases in the colder months. Ice build-up and snow-build up, especially if it’s forming over your already-clogged gutters, can cause water to sit around the edges of your roofing system. This is a great way to see water work itself underneath your shingles and inside of your home. Roof leak repair can be another costly investment.
- Pest Intrusion.
Did you know that pests, such as cockroaches, can live inside of your gutter system? Yes, you read that right! It’s a perfect location for pesky insects to live, especially if your gutters aren’t draining correctly. If you’ve noticed any nests or insect habitats inside your gutter system, give a local pest control company a call to help you clear that away. Afterward, consider installing gutter guards – which are a great way to reduce debris AND prevent any pests from making a home inside your gutters.
Tips to Repair Your Gutters
There are a few gutter repairs that you can do yourself that can improve gutter drainage and prevent any harmful roofing issues. Repairing your own gutters may seem daunting, but it’s not too difficult if you’ve got a local gutter expert guide… which, you’ve found one! If you can make it to a local home improvement store and aren’t afraid of ladders or heights, these tips will have your gutters working like new!
- Unclog and Clean Your Gutters.
Yes, this is pretty standard advice when you’re needing gutter repairs. We mentioned above all of the issues that can come along with clogged gutters or gutters that have drainage issues. This should be your first step. Unclogging your gutters can prevent those issues later on and save you a fair amount of money in costly home repairs. Preventative measures like this are often the best DIY gutter repair options. All you need, once you’ve secured your ladder, is a garden hose and good-quality gloves. Pull out dry debris and rinse out the gutters using a garden hose. This step is great because it’ll allow you to watch the water flow around your gutters and show you any drainage issues if you aren’t sure.
- Realign Gutters and Fix Sagging Gutters.
Gutters have a slight pitch that directs the water to its nearest downspout. If water isn’t draining towards your downspouts, then it’s likely due to incorrect alignment of your gutter system. Realigning gutters is a fairly straight-forward task as long as you’re comfortable with a level, on a ladder, and have some basic handyman experience. If you have sagging gutters, check the brackets that attach the gutters to your home. You may need to take a screwdriver and tighten them, which will help the gutters get back to their original alignment. The appropriate pitch level should be a 1/2 inch fall for every 10 feet of gutter. If this step gives you any trouble, or if you’ve tightened your brackets and are still experiencing gutter drainage issues, it might be time to call in a local gutter company to assist you.
- Remove Rust From Metal Gutters.
Rust should be removed from your gutter system as soon as you discover it. As you know, rust degrades metal structures (including your gutters) and shouldn’t be overlooked. Invest in a small pair of safety goggles and try to remove rust from your gutters using sandpaper or a wire brush. Rust-resisting primer should be applied to newly clean areas as a safeguard. While you’re removing rust from the gutter, check for cracks in your gutter system and fill them with sealant, if applicable.
- Fix Leaks in Gutters.
Plastic gutters often experience leaks at the joints, where two sections of gutters are connected to one another. These joints are originally installed using rubber seals or gaskets to make them watertight. When these seals become worn or pried apart by dirt/debris, gutter leaks become evident. To repair this type of gutter problem, separate the gutter section from its original seal by squeezing both sides of the gutter. Remove all dirt and debris from around the seal. Replace the seal if it’s worn out and then re-fit your newly repaired guttering and gaskets.
- Fix Loose Downspouts.
Downspouts are the piece of the gutter system that captures all of the water and direct it away from your home. If you have a loose downspout, check the brackets that are holding it onto your home. Make sure that all brackets are tight and that the downspout is vertically aligned. If you have any rotten or broken downspouts, replace them with new downspouts.
Other Gutter Repair Ideas
Some gutter drainage issues may require repairs outside of those listed above. These are special tips and tricks that we highly recommend to improve your gutters.
- Install Gutter Guards.
Gutter guards are an additional piece of material that is fastened over your gutters. This material has holes in it to allow water through, but it prevents larger debris from falling in. Installing gutter guards will decrease how often you should clean your gutters. Gutter guards also prevent larger debris, like branches or twigs, from entering and then damaging your downspouts. There are a few different types of gutter guard options available, those are listed below.
– Mesh Gutter Guards: Made of metal sheets, mesh gutter guards feature tiny holes. Mesh guards are known for their durability. This type of gutter guard can be installed on many different types of gutters, which makes them a great option for local homeowners.
– Bottle Brush Gutter Guards: Cylindrical in shape, they look like wire cleaning brushes. These guards are best at filtering out larger debris and would be ideal if your house is positioned under any large trees. The spikes of these guards allow air to circulate and dry the gutters out, preventing rust.
– Screen Gutter Guards: Often made of metal or plastic, screen gutter guards are an affordable option and easy to install – making them a cheaper option whether you’re doing DIY gutter repair or hiring a gutter expert.
– Foam Gutter Guards: Also called foam gutter inserts, these guards fit inside of your existing gutter system. They prevent all debris from entering and have pores to allow only water to get through. This option is effective but would require replacement once every 2-3 years.
- Metal Gutter Installation.
We love including metal on our gutter repairs. If you’re looking for a gutter upgrade to fix your gutters, consider asking a professional for a quote on metal gutters. Although a bit more costly than typical plastic gutters, their durability is unmatched. Most metal gutters are seamless which prevents leaks in the joints of your gutters. They’re also available in different types – like copper! Copper gutters never rust and have a lifespan of 100 years. You just can’t beat that!
- Call a Local Gutter Company
Cleaning and repairing gutters isn’t exactly an ideal Saturday afternoon for most people, but for local gutter companies – it absolutely is! If you’re having trouble repairing your gutters, give a local expert a call. Do your research and make sure you’re hiring the right local company for your gutter repairs (we wrote a post about that too – click here!). A good gutter repair company will be able to answer questions on different types of gutters and which would be best for your home.