Last Updated on February 20, 2023 by James Redding
Gutters that are leaking aren’t just an annoyance. A gutter system with leaks can’t do its job effectively, which can lead to a whole host of issues, including water damage to your home’s interior and exterior, soil erosion, and foundation problems. But don’t worry – understanding what causes leaks can help you prevent them.
Common Reasons Your Gutters May Be Leaking
One of the most common causes of leaky gutters is aging gutters. Over time, the sealant between gutter sections deteriorates, and screws loosen or fall out. This leads to gaps and holes, which allow water to leak out. (One more reason that seamless gutters are a great solution for homeowners looking to avoid leaks and other gutter-related issues. Seamless gutters, as the name implies, are created from a single piece of material, reducing the possibility of leaks developing.)
If you have an aging gutter system, its life may be able to be extended by sealing up holes and leaks with special waterproof silicone sealant. However, if your gutters are well past their prime, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to install new ones than to continue patching up leaks that will continue to get worse.
Another leading cause of leaking is clogged gutters. Homeowners who don’t bother with regular gutter cleaning can end up with clogs that cause overflows and leaks. These leaks can then run down the sides of your house, leading to significant damage. To avoid this problem, make sure to clean your gutters whenever necessary.
Your gutters endure wear and tear from the elements, leading to holes, breaks, and other types of damage season after season. For large holes and significant damage, it’s best to hire a professional gutter repair company to come out and fix or replace the damaged sections.
Tips for Preventing Leaks
Preventing leaky gutters is relatively easy if you’re willing to put in some time and effort. Here are some tips to help you avoid a leaky gutter system:
- Look for damage: After every major storm, inspect your gutters for damage. Look for loose sections and screws, as well as any holes or breaks.
- Make necessary repairs: If you find any damage, make sure to fix it as soon as possible. Smaller holes and other damage can be repaired by yourself, but for more significant damage, it’s best to hire a professional.
- Clean your gutters: Make sure to clean your gutters at least twice a year, or whenever necessary. This will prevent clogs that can cause overflows and leaks. Hiring a gutter cleaning service isn’t a bad idea, as the professional performing the clean out is more likely to spot any damage or other potential problems that may be forming.
- Invest in leaf guards: Gutter protection systems, commonly referred to as gutter screens or “leaf guards” are a great way to help prevent clogs from happening in the first place. They keep leaves and other debris out of your gutter system, helping to prevent leaks.
- Invest in ice and snow melt systems: Heavy snow and ice aren’t a typical problem in Charleston, or most of South Carolina with the exception of the Blue Ridge Mountains and some of the upstate. However, if you live in an area that experiences harsh winters, consider investing in an ice and snow melt system. These systems help prevent ice dams from forming in your gutters, which can cause leaks and other damage.
Leaking gutters can be a significant headache for homeowners. By understanding the common causes of leaky gutters and taking steps to prevent them, you can help ensure that your gutters perform their job effectively and efficiently.
Remember to clean your gutters regularly, inspect them for damage, and consider investing in leaf guards to keep them in tip-top shape.