How To Repair Guttering
It is only natural that due to constant exposure to the elements, the guttering attached to your home will start to show signs of wear and tear. If you spot an issue with the gutters it is not something that should be ignored. Not only do they ensure water is drained away from the property, but they help to protect the foundations of our homes and the heavy damage water can create.
Below are some of the more common problems that arise over time, with suggestions on how to avoid and fix them to keep the gutters in good working order.
Leaks & Holes
The appearance of any water streaming down from underneath your gutters is likely to mean a leak has developed in the system. This can be quite a common occurrence over time and leaks and holes can be fixed without too much hassle. Gutter sealant is the best solution as it can be used to caulk the seams to seal up the leak, while patching is required for any larger leaks that have developed. Patching kits are easy to find at local DIY stores and it is just a case of following the instructions that come with them. The important thing to check is the material being used to patch the gutter is the same as the actual system. If not, the application of a different material can lead to erosion.
Not clearing out your gutter will lead to a build-up of debris in the system. This can be anything from leaves and twigs, to stones and dirt, which will gradually create an overflow of water that will start to stream below. What this also leads to is sagging gutters due to the increased water weight in certain sections of the system. The hangers holding the guttering to the side of the house will start to loosen and the gutter eventually starts to sag. Once you have cleared out the debris so the water can flow freely again, the hangers can be screwed back into place. If the hangers were not installed with the correct spacing in-between each one, this can also lead to sagging gutters. In this instance, installing new ones with the right gaps will remove the issue.
Clogged gutters are by far the biggest reason why homeowners experience issues with their guttering. With debris blocking the water channels it is unable to flow adequately through the system and away from the property, potentially creating a whole host of new problems. Keeping your guttering clean is vitally important not just for the gutters themselves, but for the general wellbeing of your property.
A twice-yearly cleaning schedule is recommended to ensure the gutters remain free of debris build-up. This may vary depending on the climate in your area, but in general terms clearing out the gutters in late autumn and spring is the best time to do so. These are the times of year when leaves are more active in the local environment, and cleaning during these periods helps avoid the guttering being clogged up.
If you have a number of trees in and around your property, gutter covers can help protect them from excessive leaf fall. They can cost quite a bit of money and will also require some maintenance but they may prove valuable in the long run.
Badly Pitched Gutters
When the gutter system is first being installed onto the property it has to be pitched downwards at an angle of 1cm for every 3.5m. This is to allow the water to flow naturally at an angle through the system and away from the house. If your gutters have not been pitched correctly you will start to notice the water is not moving out of the system fast enough, with standing water constantly in the channels. The hangers may be in the right pitch position, but the gutter simply just needs to be bent slightly into place. If not, you will, unfortunately, have to reinstall the hangers, which will take a little more time to do.
The downpipe should extend 6 or 7 feet away from the house, to avoid the water leaking into the basement of the property. If your current guttering isn’t currently set up in this way, you can purchase extensions which can be easily attached to the bottom of the downpipe. This will ensure the water is expelled away from the house so as not to create any unwanted issues. Gutter extensions are inexpensive and can be found at most local DIY centres.
No guttering system
You would expect every property to have a gutter system in place, but surprisingly that is not the case. Without a system attached to the property, there are a whole host of issues that can develop over time. The most important of these is the damage water can cause to the exterior of the house and the foundation.
There are always options available to have gutters installed on your home, no matter how new or old the property is. You can hire a professional firm, or if you have a lot of experience with DIY and feel confident enough, you can do it yourself. Steel and uPVC gutters are the most common, although there are other alternatives such as aluminium which can last for a very long period of time.