Last Updated on February 15, 2023 by James Redding
Living in the Lowcountry, you can never quite predict what’ll come next. (No, we’re not talking about the news—we’re talking about the weather.)
One day it may be sunny and 75 degrees, and the next day you might find yourself hunkering down for a tropical storm. Unfortunately, it’s your gutters that often bear the brunt of our unpredictable weather.
As a professional gutter repair and installation company based in North Charleston, we’ve seen it all. Here are some common gutter issues that homeowners encounter here in the Palmetto State.
1. Clogged Gutters
First and foremost, clogged gutters are a pervasive problem in the South. With an abundance of trees and foliage, it’s not uncommon for leaves, twigs, pine needles, and other debris to accumulate in gutters over time:
When these materials build up, they can obstruct the flow of water; causing it to overflow from your gutters. Not only can this lead to water damage to your home’s walls, foundation, and landscaping, but it can also create a breeding ground for South Carolina’s 61 mosquito species—as well as roaches, termites, and other things people generally don’t like to see around their homes.
2. Gutter Damage
Another common issue we see in the Holy City is damaged gutters. Between heavy rains, high winds, occasional hail, and tropical storms/hurricanes, the Lowcountry can be a harsh environment for gutters to say the least.
We often encounter gutters in need of repair that are dented, cracked, or even detached.
If left unchecked, damaged gutters can result in severe water damage to your home, and/or costly foundation issues.
3. Heat Damaged Gutters
A lesser-known issue with gutters in the South is thermal expansion. During the hot summer months, gutters can expand due to the heat, causing them to buckle or warp. Conversely, even in a South Carolina winter, gutters can contract due to the cold. This can cause them to pull slightly away from the house.
Over many years, this expansion and contraction can weaken the gutter system, making it more susceptible to sagging and further damage. The type of gutter material used can make a small difference here. For example, aluminum gutters expand and contract in heat and cold more than copper gutters, because aluminum has a higher thermal expansion co-efficient than copper. However, with proper installation, both types of gutters should be able to stand up to the sun and heat without issues.
4. Incorrect Gutter Installation
Finally, it’s common in places like Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Summerville, and other areas to find gutters that are improperly installed in the first place. Whether it’s due to DIY installations or inexperienced contractors, it’s easy to spot gutters that aren’t pitched correctly, which can result in misdirected water flow, clogs, standing water, and eventually, extensive water damage and foundation issues.
Additionally, some homes in the Tri-County Area have insufficient or improperly placed downspouts, which can cause water to pool around the foundation of the home, leading to costly repairs.
As a South Carolina homeowner, what can you do to prevent these common gutter issues?
- First and foremost, we recommend regular gutter cleaning to remove any clogs and ensure proper water flow.
- Consider installing gutter leaf guards. These will protect your gutters by keeping leaves, twigs, and other debris from entering them and causing clogs.
- Also, if you suspect that your gutters are damaged or improperly installed, it’s best to have them inspected and, if necessary, repaired by an experienced Charleston gutter installation and repair company. In some cases, gutter replacement may be necessary to prevent further damage to your home, while other gutter problems require only simple, minor repairs.
Weather in the Lowcountry can be volatile, and your gutters are often the first line of defense against its damaging effects. But with proper maintenance—and professional gutter installation and repair—you can ensure that your gutters are in good working order and protecting your home from future foundation and water damage.
If you think you might be experiencing issues with your gutter system, contact Holy City Gutterworks. Give us a call at (843) 352-9269, or click here to get in touch with us.