Common Gutter Problems in the Pacific Northwest

Posted on by NW-admin
Gutter Cleaning Lake Oswego

Did you know that gutters are the most important part of preventing water damage to your house? In the Pacific Northwest, the risk of water damaging your home is especially high. Ensuring your gutters are working properly is essential to keeping your home safe from leaks, flooding, mold, insect infestations, and more. Thankfully, maintaining your gutters isn’t too difficult. It’s even less of a hassle if you have gutter guards installed. However, there are some gutter problems that all Pacific Northwest homeowners should be aware of and watch for.

1. Debris Accumulation

When it comes to gutter problems, the most common is debris.  Leaves, branches, moss, ice, and dirt gets stuck in your gutter, clogging it up and preventing it from doing its job. Some accumulation in your gutter is normal. However, left untreated, these items can completely stop up your gutter, making it impossible for water to flow through. With nowhere to go, water will overflow and pool on your roof and near the foundation of your home. This can cause numerous issues, including flooding. Debris accumulation can happen anytime during the year but is especially common during late fall. If you notice water overflowing from your gutters or debris stacked up in your gutters, clear out the blockage as soon as possible. By installing gutter guards you can avoid this problem. Gutter guards offer protection against clogs and keep your gutter working as it should.

2. Sagging or Warped Gutters

The weight of the debris that is not cleared from a gutter can also cause your gutter to sag and pull away from your house. Unless you fix the issue, this weight will slowly pull down your entire gutter system. Sagging gutters can also be a symptom of old age– especially if it’s been over 20 years since you last replaced your system. Another sign of aging is bent and warped gutters. This will happen to all gutters over time, causing water to spill uncontrolled around your home. If you notice sagging, bent, or warped gutters, it’s a good sign you need to repair your gutters or have them completely replaced.

3. Joint Leaks

Many older homes in Pacific Northwest don’t have seamless gutters. This means the joints of the gutter can start to pull apart, forming leaks. If you have a traditional gutter system and notice leaks in the joints, it’s likely time for a gutter replacement. Seamless gutters made from aluminum and copper are the best choice for avoiding gutter joint leaks. Choose an option with hidden brackets for a completely seamless look.

4. Damaged Gutters

Gutter Installation

In addition to the issues we’ve mentioned so far, there’s always the possibility of unpredictable damage. For instance, a branch punching off a hole in your gutter or a heavy windstorm knocking down a portion of your gutter system. You’ll probably notice significant damage immediately, but keep your eye out for small cracks, holes, or breaks, too. Even a small issue can turn into a larger (more expensive) problem if you’re not diligent.  Loose siding, mold on your siding and roof, and chipping paint can be a sign of a damaged gutter. If you notice these things, call NW Home Exteriors to perform an inspection.

5. Downspout Issues

Your downspout – the pipe that reaches from your gutter to ground level – needs to extend well beyond your foundation. Otherwise, water will be dumped right next to your home and into your house or basement. Your downspout should extend 4-5 feet away from your home and be screwed on tightly, so it won’t move out of place. If you notice your downspout has been damaged, moved, or was installed incorrectly and is pouring water out right next to your home, it’s time to call a gutter specialist.

6. Improperly Pitched Gutters

To function correctly, the slope of your gutters needs to be angled (or pitched) just right. Even if your gutters were installed with the correct slope 15 years ago, they may have shifted over time. You can tell whether your gutters are pitched at the right angle by whether water is left standing in your gutter after a rainy day. Standing water in your gutter will not only attract bugs, but it can also cause mold to grow and cause bigger problems for your roof and home. Your gutters need to slope at least a quarter inch for every 10 feet of gutter. Not sure if your gutters are angled correctly? NW Home Exteriors can inspect your gutters for you.

Need Help Fixing a Gutter Problem?

NW Home Exteriors has many years of experience with all types of roof servicing needs. Our goal is to ensure homeowners have the best gutters in the Pacific Northwest and are properly equipped to protect their home and roof. If you are concerned about old or broken gutters and are wondering if it’s time for them to be replaced or are interested in installing gutter guards on your home, contact us right away. We’d be happy to come out to your home and give you a free, no obligation assessment and estimate.

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