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How Do I Stop My Gutters From Leaking?

24 March

Although an external component of your home, the gutter system is crucial to the ‘healthy’ foundation of the building.

By keeping rainwater away from your home’s structure, it protects the building from moisture-related damages like cracks and rust, which can otherwise wreak havoc. Given the hard work your gutter system performs, it’s only natural that it may encounter problems, with leaks being the most common issue.

But why do gutters leak, and how can you prevent them from happening? Dive in to learn it all!

What Is Causing Your Gutter To Leak?

A clog or crack can cause a leaking gutter, and some leaks may result from a combination of issues. But here’s a list of the most common causes of a leaking gutter:

  • Blockages
  • A worn-out or damaged gutter system
  • Ineffective seals or loose fasteners
  • Improper gutter alignment or installation causes sagging

How To Fix Leaking Gutters?

As you may have already understood, the exact fix for leaking gutters will largely depend on the issue it’s plagued with, like:

1. Clogs

Like the other pipes in your plumbing system, which may get clogged due to waste or mineral deposits from the water supply, the 1 rain gutters can get blocked with debris from the flowing rainwater. Although leaves and twigs may not seem like a threat initially, they can accumulate over time to create a big mass that eventually stops the downflow in its path.

A blocked drain can be very harmful. Initially, the problem typically presents as spills as the rainwater surges above the block. As the clog continues to absorb moisture, it will get heavier, putting undue pressure on the gutter and resulting in sudden leaks.

The best way to prevent this issue is by manually cleaning the gutter and removing anything that may cause a spill or potential leak. Once you’ve removed the larger debris materials, use a hand-held vacuum cleaner or leaf blower on the lowest setting to eliminate smaller waste particles. But don’t forget to put on your work gloves beforehand!

Some clogs may also occur in the downspout, which can prevent rainwater from entering it. Water accumulation in the gutter over time can cause leaks.

In this case, disconnect the downspout from the gutter, clean it, and reattach it. We suggest doing this regularly, especially during the rainy season (when the weather gives you a break).

When doing gutter repairs, be careful about creating new screw holes or enlarging old screw holes, as this can allow water to seep through over time.

Gutter Filled With Leaves

2. Damaged Gutter System

Gutters remain unshielded against the elements, so don’t be surprised if you spot holes and cracks! However, some damages may not be visible until rainwater flows and water dripping from the gutter occurs. Waiting for the rain to help you detect leaks will likely do more harm than good, as the damages may intensify further.

Instead, run a small DIY test to spot all small leaks and small cracks. Pour some water into the gutter, observe the areas where the gutter leaks, and mark them. You can use silicone sealant or caulk to fix gutter spots for reinforced protection. That said, larger cracks and holes may require replacing entire gutter sections.

It’s also important to regularly clear out other debris, such as leaves and twigs, that can get caught in the gutters and cause clogs or weight that cracks the gutters over time. Keeping gutters clean helps prevent leaks from forming.

Damaged Broken Guttering

3. Ineffective Seals Or Loose Fasteners

Seals on the joints of the leaking gutters hold the structure together. However, continuous exposure to the elements, especially the sun, can affect the “adhesion” they provide. Weak seals can cause leaks and collapse the entire structure, resulting in serious damage and injuries.

You can use the same water test mentioned above to identify where the seal has worn out, replacing it with a new weatherproof seal and reinforcing it with caulk.

On the other hand, fasteners keep the gutter attached to the fascia boards on your roof. So, when they come loose, you may see rainwater leaking from the resulting gap. Besides, the moisture may seep into the fascia boards, causing water damage to the entire roof structure.

If you notice water leaking from spots near the fascia boards or misalignment in the gutter structure, get hold of a wrench and tighten the fasteners. As an additional step, you can caulk them for reinforced strength.

But if you see that they have developed corrosion, rust, or cracks, replace them immediately. In case of severe damage, you may even have to replace the parts of the gutter and fascia affected by the moisture. We’d advise getting in touch with a professional for that.

Damaged Broken Gutter

4. Sagging

The gutter system may sag for many reasons, such as improper alignment while installing new segments, loose fasteners and seals, or heavy debris like tree branches clogging the gutter. All these can cause spills or leaks from the gutter’s sides and bottom.

In some cases, this can be an easy fix. You may need to remove and straighten the affected area by tapping it with a hammer or using a car dent puller. Once the metal is straightened, attach it back using fasteners, weatherproof seals and caulks.

However, if the sagging has caused serious water damage to the gutters or surrounding areas, it may require more extensive repairs or replacement. Addressing sagging promptly is important before it becomes the next job that is more costly and labour-intensive down the line.

Proper gutter installation, regular cleaning, and maintenance can help prevent sagging issues from occurring. But when they do happen, assessing the extent of the issue is key to determining whether a quick fix or major repair is needed.

Gutter Installed On Home

Other Ways To Keep Your Gutter From Leaking

There are a few things you can do to reduce the chances of the gutter leaking in the first place, such as:

  • Trimming tree branches near the gutter to prevent them from falling into the gutter
  • Cleaning the gutter regularly by removing leaves and debris manually
  • Deep cleaning the gutter every six months to remove moisture and rust build-up
  • Installing a gutter screen or filter that can trap debris
  • Cleaning the gutter screen regularly

Prevent Your Gutter From Leaking

Although fixing smaller issues like reapplying sealants and caulking them may be easy, replacing the gutter parts or straightening them can be dangerous without the right tools.

Not only can you end up causing more damage to the gutter, but you may also injure yourself while on the ladder. That’s why it’s best to call professionals like the trained and licensed plumbers at Gold Coast Plumbing. Our gutter maintenance and gutter leak repair services go beyond emergency repairs to make your life easier.