With Indiana’s rainy season quickly approaching, it’s time to talk gutters. Are yours prepared to weather spring storms?
Damage caused by the snow, sleet, and ice of a rough winter can be further exacerbated by torrential downpours in April and May. Neglected gutters overflow or fail to move water away from your home creating major issues, including:
- Soffit and fascia damage
- Leaking interior walls and ceilings
- Mold and mildew growth
- Flooded basements
- Foundation damage
- Siding damage and discoloration
- Plant, shrub, and tree death (from overwatering)
Common Gutter Problems To Look For This Spring
As the first breaths of spring emerge, inspect your gutters regularly for damage or looming issues. If it’s obvious your gutters need to be replaced or repaired, consider hiring a professional to fully inspect them.
Problem #1: Clogged gutters
Leaves, limbs, and debris leftover from fall foliage and winter winds often find their way into gutters. Clogged gutters cause heavy rainfall to spill over the edge or seep into the fascia, leading to wood rot and leaks. Even if you have gutter guards installed, dirt can penetrate and create mud clods after a heavy rain.
Depending on the amount of debris, unclogging a gutter can be a tedious and time-consuming job for some homeowners. Because adequate cleaning requires the use of a ladder, many homeowners leave it to the professionals (no pun intended).
Problem #2: Clogged downspout
Designed to route water away from your home, downspouts are a crucial part of a gutter system. It’s common for homeowners to clean their gutters and assume gravity will do the work to clear the downspout. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
Dirt and mud clods are common culprits for clogged gutters as they trap other debris as well. It is best to remove each section of downspout and use a high-pressure hose to clean them individually.
Problem #3: Bent or sagging gutters
Heavy snow and ice often cause gutter spikes and hangers or pull away from the fascia, affecting the pitch of your gutters. The pitch (slight angle) of your gutter system is pertinent for the proper flow of water. Sometimes, an improper gutter pitch is not visible to the naked eye.
Sections of gutter that are clearly sagging or bent will cause rainwater to pool and overflow and may need to be replaced entirely. Holes in the fascia should be properly filled and sealed and damaged hangers replaced. For homeowners with especially high or long gutters, measuring gutter pitch and replacing fasteners can be difficult.