When gutter problems are ignored and repairs are bypassed, your home is at risk for much more than a little bit of water buildup. The water that accumulates in a clogged gutter can leak to other parts of the house, and even into the home’s foundation, causing water damage that threatens the structural integrity of the house. On average, water damage costs a homeowner around $2,386 to fix, but can be a lot more expensive if the water damage has led to other problems. To avoid costly gutter repairs, learn how to identify, diagnose, and solve problems as they arise.
5 Reasons Gutters Overflow
Gutter blockages – Blockages are caused by moss buildup, leaves, and seeds that fall from nearby trees, and granules that shed from shingled roofs as they age. To prevent gutter blockage, clean out your gutters regularly, and perform regular roofing repair and maintenance.
Pipe blockages – Leaves, moss, and roof debris can get lodged in the rainwater pipe that connects the gutter to the ground. If you suspect a problem with your rainwater pipe, you can easily dismantle it to check for blockages.
Not enough pipes – The number of rainwater pipes you need depends on the size of the house, and therefore, the length of the gutters. The general rule of thumb is to have no more than 15 meters of gutter emptying into one rainwater pipe.
Faulty gutter installation – The outlet from the gutter to the rainwater pipe should be the lowest point of the system to direct the flow of water to the ground. An incorrectly installed gutter may prevent the water from draining properly.
Dislodged joint – Joints, corners, and end caps may break or become dislodged. Check your gutters for anything that looks crooked, cracked, or out of place.
If one part of your home is out of place or not functioning properly, the rest of your house will be affected over time if the problem is not addressed. For example, overflowing gutter problems will cause damage to the wood windows below. When the wood rots, tiny openings allow your home’s warm air to escape, thus hiking up your energy bill. A third of a home’s annual heating and cooling budget — roughly $350 — is wasted on air that leaks into or out of the house through unintended gaps and cracks. Simple gutter repairs could have stopped the problem from spreading.
On average, a homeowner will spend between one to four percent of a home’s value annually on maintenance and repairs. Repair costs can be reduced significantly, however, if the homeowner is conducting regular inspections and fixing issues as soon as they arise.