Categories
Rain Gutter

How Blocked Gutters Can Ruin Your California Home

Did you know your gutters can get clogged? It can happen without you even knowing, and blocked gutters can lead to unknown damage in your home and roof.

Blocked gutters are a bigger problem than you think, as if you don’t check and clear them out regularly, you’ll see some serious damage happen to your home.

Here’s just some of the ways your beautiful California home can get damaged, and how you can stop it from happening.

 

How Do Your Gutters Get Blocked?

Do gutters really get blocked? All they deal with is rainwater, right?

You’d think so, but they easily pick up other debri as well. This is usually the fault of bad weather.

If you experience storms, wind, or rain in your area, you’ll see that detritus such as leaves, twigs and even sometimes branches make their way onto your roof.

When this happens, they’ll fall into your gutters. Unlike rainwater, they can’t flow through and out the downspout, so they get stuck in the gutters.

If this keeps happening and nothing is done about the blocked gutters, they can’t do their job. Water overflows and can’t escape the roof, and so all kinds of damage starts to happen.

 

5 Ways Blocked Gutters Damage Your Home

So, if your gutters get blocked, how does it affect your home? There are many different things that you’ll need to watch out for.

Here’s some of the most common ways they’ll cause damage:

 

1. Causing Water Overflow On Your Roof

The first and most obvious problem is that if water can’t get into your gutters, then it’s going to overflow back onto the roof itself.

Your roof can take some water, as it needs to be somewhat waterproof. However, it’s not watertight, and it’s not designed for water to back up out of the gutters.

When this happens, you’ll see that it gets under the shingles or tiles, moving or even breaking them off.

Once it’s under them, it can start seeping into the roof itself. This leads to:

  • Roof leaks
  • Rot in your timbers
  • Mold on your roof

 

 

2. Damp And Leaks In Your Ceilings

Following on from no. 1, if the water is getting in under the tiles, it’s almost certainly causing leaks in your attic.

That water is going to make its way to your upstairs ceilings, causing dampness, and damaging the structure itself.

You’ll see this happening if you start:

  • Getting dark spots on the upstairs ceilings
  • Ceilings start leaking
  • The ceiling breaks apart to let water in
  • Blistering, where the water is collecting

 

3. Mold And Mildew In Your Home

Your home needs to be at a certain level of humidity in order to be safe. Usually, it should be around 50%.

If you’re getting leaks thanks to overflowing gutters, then this is going to shoot up and cause you lots of problems. Most commonly, you’ll find mold and mildew growing in your home.

There’s a lot of reasons why you want to avoid this.

  • Firstly, it’s unsightly, and you don’t want to deal with it if you don’t have to. It’s also difficult to get rid of entirely once it takes hold, and you want to avoid the expense and time of dealing with that.
  • Then, of course, it poses a lot of health risks to you and your family, especially if any of you already struggle with breathing problems.

 

4. Ice Dams

This is a problem that you’ll come across in the winter months.

You may not be getting as much rain in these months, but you may get snow, and that’s where the problem lies.

If there’s blockages in the gutter, when the snow melts off your roof it’ll roll towards the guttering, but it can’t flow away. In the end it refreezes, creating a ‘dam‘ that stops more water from getting away, and so it comes in through the roof.

This issue is made worse if you have poor insulation in your roof, as the heat from your home will start the snow melting quicker. Unblocking your gutters and insulating your roof will stop this from happening.

 

5. Weight Damage

If your gutters are full of debris, then they’re going to be much heavier than they normally are.

Usually, they only hold water for a moment, and so they aren’t designed to hold much weight. If they get full, then they’re going to cause damage.

As the gutters get heavier, they’ll start to pull away from your home, which of course means that there won’t be any gutters for rainwater to flow into.

As well as this, the weight of the gutter pulling away will cause damage to the fascia and sometimes even the siding of your home. This will be costly to fix if its left to go on long enough.

 

 

How to Avoid Blocked Gutters 

This all sounds scary for the safety of your home, but never fear. You can avoid blocked gutters, and it’s easier than you’d think.

If you keep a regular inspection check on your roof, you’ll spend some of that inspection time checking out the gutters. If you see anything in them, it’s very simple to clear it.

Fetch a pair of gloves, and just pull the detritus out. Make sure you check the downspout too, to ensure there’s nothing blocking that either.

If you want to stop it happening again, you can install a gutter guard. These look like a mesh on top of the gutter, or a brush that sits in them.

They allow water to flow into and through the gutters, but they stop anything else, such as leaves and twigs, from getting in there. These aren’t too expensive and easy to install, so they’re well worth considering.

 

Conclusion

These are just five problems that blocked gutters will cause for your home. It’s vital that you check them regularly to ensure they can do their job properly.

Luckily, it’s easy for you to unblock a gutter, so make sure you take care of them to stop these things happening.

If you are in need of roof inspections, our team can  help; if your roof, gutters or downspouts have already seen damage, contact us today for a free at-home consultation.

Categories
Maintenance Tips Rain Gutter

How to Maintain Gutters in the Rainy Season

The gutters on your house provide a valuable service to your home’s exterior and are an essential part of roof maintenance. Gutters channel the rainwater run-off from your roof, preventing erosion of the soil around the foundation of your home. Gutters prevent cracks in your foundation as well as moisture in your basement caused by rainwater pooling and seeping down into the ground around your home.

Gutters protect your home for a multitude of other evils, including mold, mosquito infestations and peeling paint.

Gutters and Roof Maintenance

It’s crucial you do not forget to check your gutters when it comes time for some roof maintenance. Maintaining your gutters is important to the integrity of your home’s structure, so whether you are planning to stay in your home for an extended time or sell your home, it pays to keep gutters maintained to ensure the structure of your home remains solid.

The first thing you need to do before the bad weather comes on is to clean out your gutters and get them in good working order. You can hire a professional to clean your gutters or you can do-it-yourself. Here is a quick guide to DIY gutter cleaning and maintenance:

Scoop Out The Goop

To scoop out the loose debris in your gutter, you will need to use a ladder to climb up and see inside the gutters. Cleaning or attempting to repair your gutters from on top of the roof is not recommended. Clean your gutters while standing firmly on a ladder, observing ladder safety. Avoid standing on the top three rungs and don’t reach past the side rail – no farther than your belt buckle.  When working from a ladder, use one bucket for gutter debris and another for carrying tools. Use wire hooks to attach the bucket to the ladder. Make sure the area below the gutter is clear.

To clean out the goop, start at a drain outlet at the low end of a gutter, using a narrow garden trowel or gutter scoop. Work away from the drain outlet. The easiest time to clean goop out of your gutters is when the debris is just a little damp, not completely soaked or dried. Scoop the debris out of the gutter and into the bucket attached to your ladder.

Flush the Gutter with Water

Using a high-pressure hose nozzle mounted at the end of a water hose, wash out each length of gutter, working toward the drain outlet from the opposite end of the downspout. This can be a messy job; try to avoid splattering mud all over your house. If necessary, use a stiff scrub brush to remove encrusted dirt. If the water doesn’t drain, recheck the downspout strainer to see if it is clogged and clean as necessary.

If the downspout is clogged, check the drain end. If the downspout runs underground, remove it from the pipe as needed. Install a small nozzle on the hose, and lock it at full pressure. Turn on the water and feed the hose up from the bottom of the spout. If this doesn’t clear the downspout or the nozzle is too big, use a plumber’s snake tool to clear the blockage.

After the downspout is clean, reattach it and flush the gutter again. Also, make sure to clean the downspout strainers.

Adjust the Slope

From time to time during the rainy season, you can maintain your gutters by adjusting them to keep water moving toward the downspouts. If they are draining slowly (check this by running water through them), you will need to reposition them so that they slope at a rate of ¼ inch for every 10 feet.

Add Downspout Extenders if Necessary

If water is not being expelled far enough away from our house, you may need to add downspout extenders to help. Another thing to consider is adding concrete or plastic splash blocks, which extend away from the house for at least 4 feet.

Look for Leaks

Another thing you want to look at when maintaining your gutter during the rainy season are the sources of any leaks, including holes in the gutters and cracked caulking in the seams. Use an old chisel to scrape the old caulking out and dry the area thoroughly. Then use new bead silicon sealing to keep water from getting down behind the gutters and rotting the boards.

Check and Replace Rotted Fascia Boards

Check your gutters during the season to make sure they are affixed tightly to the fascia boards, looking at the boards to see if they have dry rot or other damage. When replacing boards, use treated lumber and paint the board to match the other boards.

Secure Gutter Spikes

Sometimes the gutter spikes miss the rafters entirely, usually because the spike has just worked its way out of the hole over the years. It’s a good idea to invest in new gutter spikes so the gutters are securely fastened once again.

Here are tips for replacing gutter spikes:

  • First remove the gutter spikes and ferrules (these are the large spacers that keep the gutter walls from collapsing while you drill). Make sure to install a new set as soon as you remove the old one.
  • Position the new ferrule inside the gutter, directly behind the existing spike hole.
  • Insert the gutter screw into the existing spike hole. Use a standard variable-speed drill, electric or cordless, to slowly thread the fastener through the spike hole and the ferrule and then into the existing fascia hole.
  • Thread the fastener until the head is even with the gutter and the screw has engaged with the rafters on the other side of the fascia board.

Consider New Gutters

Look for peeling paint and rust on your gutters. If they are rusting, they are very old and you may want to think about getting new gutters that are aluminum or vinyl. Otherwise, make sure to scrape and paint the gutters.

Inspect the Rivets

It’s easy for the rivets on your gutters to work themselves loose or drop out completely. With a rivet gun you can secure the rivets back into the gutter. You can purchase both new rivets and a rivet gun at your local hardware store to keep your gutters maintained.

To make sure that your gutters are maintained throughout the year, go through these steps at least twice a year before a rainy season to keep them in the best working order. Keeping up with the maintenance ensures your home is protected and remains an asset to you.

 

Categories
Rain Gutter Roofing

Essential Benefits of Gutter Guards

Face it, you more than likely do not take the absolute best care of your gutters, and you are not alone. Most homeowners do not like cleaning out their gutters, but doing so can put their roof and the rest of their property in danger. Gutter guards are designed to make it so that you never have to clean out your gutters again, but what other benefits do they have to offer you?

Categories
Rain Gutter

Gutters Protect Your Home, So Treat Them Right

No one spends a great deal of time thinking about the gutters and downspouts on their house. But these utilitarian fixtures do require a tiny bit of consideration a few times per year if you want to keep them in good repair. Here are the basics of good gutter maintenance.

Categories
Rain Gutter

Four of the Most Common Rain Gutter Problems

To keep your roof and the rest of your home in the best shape possible, you have got to take good care of your gutters. Just like your body cannot take care of you when it is not operating at peak efficiency, the same applies to your gutters. Learn some of the most common rain gutter problems to prepare for them before they strike.

Categories
Rain Gutter

Basic Gutter Repair and Maintenance

Gutters are the source of a number of common roofing problems. If not properly maintained, they can lead to more severe issues like damaged shingles and a leaking roof. Though repairing gutters is few homeowners’ idea of a good time, it is a necessary project for preserving the overall health of your roof.

Cleaning Gutters

Regular cleaning is more often than not the key to overall good gutter health. Depending on where you live and the kind of landscaping around your house, you may have to clean your gutters only once or several times a year. Be sure to get in one good cleaning towards the end of fall to remove dead leaves and other plant matter. You might want to do another cleaning towards the end of winter to free up the gutters to remove snow melt, and another cleaning before the rainiest part of the year.

Fixing Sagging Gutters

You can repair sagging gutters with a gutter hanger, a metal bar that serves as a support beam for the gutter. Use the edges of the rafters as a guide for placing hangers. Hook the hanger under the lip in front of the gutter, and place it over the back edge. Secure it to the edge of the roof with a long screw. Add hangers about every three feet where your gutters are prone to sagging.

Repairing Leaks

Begin by thoroughly cleaning the gutter around the leaking area to ensure that the sealant adheres properly to the metal. Apply a gutter sealant around the leaking area. It is best to do this when you are expecting clear weather since the sealant takes up to 24 hours to dry. Gutter sealant is a clear gel that comes in a rollable tube. It can be purchased at most hardware stores.

If you are not used to working with gutters, or you just do not like the hassle, contact a professional roofing service to take care of all your gutter needs.

 

 

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Categories
Rain Gutter

Common Rain Gutter Problems and How to Fix Them

Gutters have one job-to drain water away from your roof and foundation. This makes their upkeep critical for roof maintenance. When leaves or debris build up in your gutter, your gutters can no longer filter water away from your roof. These clogs leave your home susceptible to leaks and mold growth.

Prevent roof damage by avoiding these common rain gutter problems and following the recommended solutions.

Incorrectly Pitched Gutters

Gutters should drop a quarter inch every 10 feet in order to keep water flowing toward downspouts. You can tell if your drain has a poor slope by looking in the gutter after a rainstorm. If you can see standing water, you need to re-pitch your gutters.

First, measure the slope from the peak to the downspout. Use a chalk line as a reference of how your gutters should slope. This chalk will help you find gutters out of alignment. You can either push these gutters back into place or rehang a gutter section. If you can’t find the problem or don’t want to try to fix the problem yourself, call a roofing professional for help.

Draining Water near Your Foundation

Your downspout should extend four to five feet away from your home’s foundation. Otherwise, the water will drain directly into your basement. If you find that your downspout drains too close to your foundation, consider installing a gutter extension. These devices discharge the water a safe distance from your foundation.

Clogs

Clogs cause a vast majority of gutter problems. The built-up sand or leaves create dams where moisture leaks onto your roof or into your home’s foundation. This could result in mold or leaks.

You can tell if your gutters have debris clogging them if you see overflowing water on the sides or joints or if water doesn’t drain from the downspout.

To clean your gutters, first clean the debris from the gutters. Then use a garden hose to flush out clogged areas. If you’re not comfortable on ladders, consider hiring a professional.

You should clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid major roof or foundation problems. If you live in an area surrounded by sand or dirt, you should frequently check your gutters to prevent sand buildup. Homeowners with trees surrounding their home should check once a year, typically in the fall when leaves tend to fall the most.

You may also want to consider gutter covers for persistently clogged gutters.

Sags

Extra weight from sand, leaves, or standing water could cause your gutters to sag and drop away from the fascia. The problem usually originates from gutter hanger damages. These pieces secure your gutter to your home. The hangers may separate from the wood, deteriorate, or collapse.

This problem has a simple and affordable solution. Hangers typically cost nearly $10 a piece and the fasteners cost nearly $1 each. Once you buy the necessary parts, replace old hangers or install more hangers to increase weight capacity.

Leaks

Untreated clogs along gutters can result in leaks and holes. Once your gutter has a leak, your foundation is susceptible to water damage or mold growth. You can seal leaky joints with caulk on the inside of the gutter. Fill minor holes with gutter sealant, and fix larger leaks with patches that keep the water flowing properly. You can find drain patches at most hardware stores, or you can use metal flashing as a patch.

On those rare occasions when California temperatures dip below 37° F, ice dams could cause leaks or cracks. You should call a professional to fix these types of damages.

Now that you know the basics to gutter maintenance, use these suggestions to keep your foundation and roof in good condition.

Categories
Blog Rain Gutter

Gutter Repair – How to Fix Small Holes

Gutter repair is inevitable for the majority of homeowners. Fixing small holes can prevent the damage from escalating into bigger problems. When the problem becomes bigger, call a gutter repair professional.