5 Causes Of Overflowing Gutters And How To Fix Them
Overflowing gutters are frustrating, as the problem completely negates the entire reason for installing gutters in the first place. Fortunately, the problem is usually easy to fix once the cause is found.
1. Gutter Debris
Debris buildup in the gutter is the most common cause of an overflow and the cause that most homeowners are familiar with. Regular gutter cleaning to remove dead leaves and other detritus will keep the gutters flowing smoothly. Gutter cleanup is most effective when done after the leaves finish falling in autumn, but more frequent cleaning may be needed in heavily treed areas. Installing leaf guards over the gutters can also reduce obstructions.
2. Blocked Downspouts
Downspouts, like gutter troughs, also become blocked and the first symptom of the problem is when the troughs begin to overflow because they have nowhere to drain. Debris from gutters flows into downspouts, where it can collect. Add in problems like animals nesting in the spout and you can end up with frequent blockages. There are screens you can install over the top of a downspout to help reduce debris buildup, but the debris must be scooped off the screen fairly frequently.
3. Missing Clips
A sagging gutter won't drain properly, which means that it will become more prone to overflowing at the lowest point of the sag. The most common cause of a sagging gutter is a missing or broken gutter clip that prevents the trough from attaching properly to the eaves. Simply replacing the problem clips will provide the solution and stop the overflow.
4. Bad Grading
Gutters aren't installed perfectly on the level, otherwise they would overflow instead of draining toward the appropriate downspout. Instead, they are graded at a slight incline towards the downspout. If the grade isn't sufficient for the amount of rain sheeting off the roof, then an overflow occurs. Your gutter service can re-grade the gutters to improve the rate of flow.
5. Corner Issues
It's not uncommon for gutters to overflow when the water hits the corner where the downspout attaches. This is especially common if two lengths of guttering are feeding into the same corner downspout, since the excess water flow may be too rapid for the downspout to drain quickly enough. You can have a raised diverter installed that helps prevent corner overflow, or you can opt to install larger downspouts that can better handle the heavy flow.
Contact a residential gutter system repair service for more help with your overflowing gutters.