Gutters provide an important drainage function that we often take for granted… until something goes wrong!
Since your home’s foundation holds up the entire house, it is imperative that water easily flows away from the foundation. Drainage through your gutters is the process of funneling water away from the foundation of your house, ensuring that your foundation is in good condition. If your gutters are not in good condition, then your foundation is at risk of water exposure.
Rain gutters divert water away from your siding and foundation, providing your home with important protection against the elements. A gutter system that functions properly will allow rain and melting snow to hit the roof, run down its slope to the edge, and collect in the gutters. From there, runoff is transferred to a downspout and enters an underground drainage system.
To ensure that water does not gather around the home and create flooding, pools, soil erosion, and ultimately foundation cracking, it is necessary to have gutters that are clean and can provide proper drainage.
Clogging is the most common source of drainage problems with gutters. If your gutter system is clogged it can back up, creating a slew of water-damage issues.
Clogged gutters often lead to water overflowing onto paved surfaces and can even contribute to water accumulation in other areas around your home and property. The following are signs that your gutters may be clogged or damaged:
Gutters that are clogged or defective cannot allow water to flow properly, causing these drainage problems. Cleaning out leaves and other debris that is clogging the downspout of the gutter is one solution to overflow issues. You may also want to consider having gutter covers installed if you encounter an extra amount of debris.
Holes and leaks in gutters are not uncommon. If you notice a stream of water pouring out of the middle of your gutter, the gutter most likely has a hole or two that is causing a leak.
To repair leaky seams, gutter sealant can be used to caulk the leak. To patch larger holes, a patching kit might be necessary. It is best to have a drainage professional assess the leak, as they will be able to determine if the gutter has extensive damage that requires complete replacement.
Severe weather poses the biggest threat of damage to gutters. Gutters can be damaged or knocked down entirely during heavy wind or rainstorm. While fixing the displaced gutter may be as simple as rehanging it, it is also possible that you may need to replace specific sections of the gutter.
To prevent gutter damage from storms, the experts at Daybreaker Landscapes are here to make sure that your gutters are installed properly, and are not loose. If it is determined that sections of the gutter are damaged beyond repair, consider having your sectional gutter replaced with a seamless gutter to avoid wear and tear on sectional joints and seams.
If you allow your gutters to become clogged up with leaves, twigs, standing water, and other debris, then you may have to add sagging gutters to the list of problems you could be facing!
When the weight from debris is heavy enough, hangers (the hardware that fastens the gutters to your house), will not be able to hold the extra weight and will pull loose, causing sagging gutters. Sometimes re-tightening the screws will fix a sagging gutter. If the hangers are spaced too far apart, however, then new ones will need to be installed closer together.
Occasionally, there are homes that lack gutters completely, which will cause long-term drainage problems. Unless you live in an area that is dry for most of the year, a high-quality drainage system is necessary for gathering any rainwater that lands on the roof and draining it away from the house.
Gutters perform the important role of channeling water away from your roof. This prevents standing water around the shingles, which could otherwise find its way under your shingles to the roof support, and leak into your attic and house.
If downspouts and gutters are not completely cleaned or correctly installed, sidewalks and walkways can also become water-logged with runoff that cannot drain properly. A correctly installed gutter system will not only prevent damage to the structure of your house, but it will also protect your foundation, driveway, and sidewalks from any water that might pool up on the sides of your home or business.
In addition to protecting the roof and overall structure of your house, gutters also prevent soil erosion and protect your garden beds. Has erosion occurred around your home? If you see gravel or soil streaming around your yard, garden, or landscape, then this could indicate drainage issues from faulty or clogged gutters.
When it rains, water may overflow from gutters that are not in good condition and wash away soil, causing puddling which will drown the plants and flowers in any garden beds built next to your house. Eventually, this overflow will cause soil erosion.
Erosion can lead to serious issues such as compacted soil or high groundwater. Soil erosion can also cause your foundation to settle, resulting in uneven floors, a cracked chimney, and cracks in the walls as well.
In order for water to flow properly, gutters need to be angled (or pitched) correctly. The slope should sit at a minimum pitch of a quarter inch for every 10 feet of gutter.
If there is standing water after a rainstorm, this is a good indication that an adjustment to the gutter’s pitch needs to be made. The experts at Daybreaker Landscapes are ready to inspect your gutter’s pitch to determine if it is angled properly and perform any necessary adjustments, including reinstalling hangers if needed.
To keep gutters free of debris, ensure proper drainage, and prevent soil erosion, it’s imperative to have your gutters cleaned twice a year. If your house or business is in an area that experiences a lot of storms, or your property has a lot of trees with limbs that hang over the structure, it is a good idea to have the gutters cleaned in late fall after most of the leaves have fallen off. Have your gutters cleared in the spring as well, preferably in March or early April before the worst of those April showers blow in?
Many people are concerned with safety when it comes to climbing up and down a ladder to routinely clean their gutters. Fortunately, our landscape drainage experts are both trained and comfortable climbing ladders to do just that.
There can be a combination of issues causing your drainage problems, and you deserve to know all the ways you can solve them and prevent further damage.
You don’t have to inspect your gutters every day to identify problems, but you can’t neglect your gutters month after month. Prevention should include keeping your gutters clean and free of debris, and making sure that your downspouts and gutters empty into the proper areas. And all it takes is sticking to a schedule of regular maintenance.
If you find that you are just too busy to inspect and maintain your gutters, we can help you with routine yearly maintenance. The Daybreaker Landscapes team can ensure that your gutters are installed correctly so that you won’t have to worry about leaks and improper drainage down the road.
If you have taken the proper maintenance measures and still experience drainage problems, contact the Daybreaker Landscapes professionals. We are happy to help assess drainage issues, perform repairs to solve your drainage problems, and replace old gutters if needed. From efficient and functional to reliable and attractive, we are happy to help you find out which gutter system is best for your home’s drainage needs and your budget.
If you have a home or business in the Chicagoland area, and you suspect faulty gutters or have other drainage concerns, Daybreaker Landscapes is ready to help determine the cause of your drainage issues and provide the most economical solution.
Our professional team of drainage experts is here to help you prevent future drainage issues and protect your property from damage by designing and installing reliable drainage systems. Please call (815) 596-0070 or contact us online to schedule a free estimate today!