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Home Gutters: Common Problems and Fixes

Mar 3, 2016

How to clean your gutter

Strong rains and heavy Wisconsin snowfall can create a flooding and water damage problem for your home. What is your home’s first line of defense against heavy rainfall and water concerns? The gutters, of course. Maintaining your gutters throughout the year will give you peace of mind, and keep water where it’s supposed to be: outside and channeling away from your home’s foundation.

Common Gutter Problems

When thinking of common gutter problems, you most likely jump to the most visible concerns, such as clogs, debris, and decomposed leaves filling up your gutter walls. But there are many “invisible” issues that require careful examination in order to find before you can fix them. Here’s a solid list of common gutter issues, fixes and maintenance tips to avoid flooding and water damage.

Clogged Gutters

Overhanging trees and heavy winds and rain are the main cause of clogged gutters. Leaves will decompose and become liquid-like, rendering your gutters useless.

Fix: Clean them out at least once a year, do it twice annually if your have a lot of trees in the area. Selecting whether you should do it yourself, or if you should hire someone (typically costs between 50 and 250 dollars) depends entirely on how comfortable you are on a ladder and the size of your house.

Alternative Option: Purchase  gutter covers for chronically clogged gutters. Materials range from mesh screens to clip-on grates. This can be an expensive option, costing around 1,500 dollars for 200 feet of gutter (based on home average), but will save you time cleaning out animal feces and gutter goop over time.

Gutters Pulling Away from the House

When the hangers — the hardware that secures the gutters to the house — deteriorate, bend, back out of the wood or are spaced too far apart, gutters will sag and separate from the house.

Fix: Purchase new hangers and fasteners from the hardware store, estimated at around 10 dollars apiece for hangers, and 1 dollar for fasteners.

Leaks and Holes

Leaks and holes in the gutters and caulking can lead to water getting behind the gutters and rotting the boards.

Fix: For small holes, caulk from the inside with a gutter sealant. You will need a patch kit from a hardware store for larger holes. A tube of sealant generally costs around 5 dollars.

Downspouts Draining too Close to the Foundation

Downspouts that aren’t extending away from the house at a proper distance are just driving water into the basement, and not away. This can cause flooding and water damage to the outside and inside of your house.

Fix: Buy gutter extensions to attach at the bottom of the downspout and extend them a good 4 to 5 feet away from the house to funnel water well away from the foundation.Properly maintained gutters will effectively channel water away from the foundation of your home and prevent water damage and flooding during heavy rainfall and storms. In extreme cases or natural disasters, Kelmann Restoration is your number one solution for water damage restoration. Learn more at Kelmann.com and contact us for 24-hour emergency service in the greater Milwaukee area.