Gutters are one of those parts of your home that probably never crosses your mind… until a problem arises. In most cases, it is when the gutters start overflowing that homeowners stop and take notice. But, at that point, it is oftentimes too late to prevent damage to your home and landscaping.
So, keep on reading if you want to avoid the structural damages and costly repair bills that come along with overflowing gutters.
3 Reasons why gutters overflow
1. Debris Clog
The most common of the main three reasons gutters eventually overflow is hands down debris clogs. Clogs form when debris such as leaves and pine needles is left uncleaned and the water flow deposits it in the mouth of the downspouts.
To avoid this primary reason for gutter flooding simply keep your gutters cleaned regularly. In the event that your gutters are flooding, even though you are maintaining them properly, it is an indicator that you may not have enough downspouts installed or they are poorly placed.
Lacking the correct number of downspouts for your home will nearly always cause flooding. The bottom line is that water must flow downward, and if there is not a suitable route, i.e. enough downspouts, the water will find its own way down. That usually means over the side of the gutter.
2. Improper Alignment
The second most common culprit for flooding gutters is having improperly aligned gutters. That’s why you should hire professionals to install gutters. Sure, you may be handy with a hammer or drill, and not afraid to climb a ladder, but are you capable and willing to pay for or repair the structural damages to your home that may be caused by overflowing gutters?
Hiring a professional to install your gutters is your best bet to ensure that your gutter system is aligned correctly. Even one poorly installed section of gutter can cause the entire system to back up and eventually overflow.
And, while shelling out the money for a professional to come and install your gutters may not be your typical idea of money well-spent, it sure beats the alternative; severe exterior and interior structural damage to your home.
3. Wrong Size or Type
Another typical factor that may cause the flooding of your home’s gutter system is the installation of the wrong type or size of gutters. Yes, there are different shapes and sizes of gutters. And, yes, it really does make a world of difference to use the one best suited for the size and style of your home, the type of roof you have, and the kind of weather your house has to endure.
Gutters, for the most part, come in two shapes or styles; K-style and half-rounded. Each type is named after its appearance from the side, or from below. For homes, other types of gutters are hardly ever used. That said, the correct size is also necessary if you want to avoid an overflowing system.
Having gutters that are too narrow means that they will not be able to handle a steady amount of rainfall or melted ice and snow. A five-inch gutter is considered standard, though they come in both smaller and larger sizes. In fact, today, six and seven-inch gutters are gaining popularity for their ability to handle more rain and debris than smaller versions.
How to prevent gutter overflow
Luckily, there are numerous ways to prevent your gutters from overflowing, even if you inherited the gutter system when you bought the house or installed gutters not well-suited for your home.
They may not be as exciting as buying one of the latest garden gadgets or investing in a fun home DIY project, but any one of the following methods will do the trick:
- Regular cleaning
- Professional service
- Gutter guards
If you are so inclined, simply grab your ladder, gloves, and a few hefty bags, and clean your gutters by hand every six months to a year. Or, if you prefer, and don’t mind spending the cash, pick up the phone and call a local handyman to come and service them for you.
A third option, and possibly the one that will save you the most money in the long run, is selecting and installing the best gutter guards for your home. That said, if you decide to take this route, which we highly recommend, you will need to do some proper research before buying just any old guards.
Products like GutterBrush, more or less giant pipe cleaners, and snap-in types like Amerimax, are relatively affordable and easily installed. On the other side of the coin, high-end LeafFilter gutter guards, are custom-built for your home and must be installed by professionals.
Author Bio: Jordan is a husband, father, writer, and avid outdoorsman. A long-time DIY and gardening fan, if it needs planted, painted, or repurposed, you can bet your bottom dollar he isn’t too far away.