When gutters are overlooked, the potential damage done to your property can far surpass the costs of regular maintenance. Keeping gutters in working order is vital to maintaining the integrity of your property. Without a properly functioning gutter system, your property is susceptible to serious issues such as rotting wood, foundation damage caused by erosion, mold, and pests. Our crews are trained to remediate a variety of gutter problems with ease, allowing us to offer high-quality repairs at an affordable price.
Some common issues include leaking seams, the gutter’s pitch being off, ice damming, rotted fascia, and damaged drip edges or roof flashing.
Leaking seams are one of the most common repairs we deal with. This is primarily because all seams inevitably wear down. It is important to occasionally check your gutters after a storm to make sure no water is coming out of anywhere besides the downspout.
Another common issue we run into is the gutter’s pitch being off. Gutters are angled in such a way that all water is directed to the downspout, which is at the lowest point. If the gutter isn’t pitched properly, however, the water will pool up at the wrong end. In the winter months, this leads to ice damming, which is when the water that doesn’t drain from your gutters freezes, blocking off the downspouts and causing a cycle of more and more water building up. Eventually water may enter your property and cause damage, as the heat coming from your property’s interior melts the ice yet it cannot leave the gutter via the blocked off downspout. Additionally, the weight of the ice can pull the gutter away from the fascia, especially if the gutters are secured with spikes instead of the hidden hangers we use. It is important to both clean your gutters and inspect the pitch before freezing temperatures kick in to avoid this before it leads to more serious issues, like rotting fascia.
In warmer weather, improperly pitched gutters also encourage wood-destroying insects to breed. If water is getting to the fascia, carpenter ants, termites, or carpenter bees can eat away at it and enter your house. This can cause expensive foundation damage that far surpasses the costs of annual gutter maintenance. Furthermore, these entry points allow rodents access to your property. Rotted fascia most commonly occurs for two reasons: 1) the gutter’s pitch is off and water is overflowing, or 2) there is an insufficient drip edge so water is pouring straight off the roof, behind the gutter instead of into it, thus rotting the fascia board.
A drip edge is designed to have the water ‘drip’ off the ‘edge’ of the roof directly into the gutter. Usually the lowest row of shingles sticks off about an inch from the roof and hangs above the gutter. If the shingles are cut too short or have sagged over time, however, the water can simply roll off the roof and go behind the gutter. We recommend installing a support system to hold the shingles up and prevent this from happening in order to maintain your fascia’s integrity. Along the same lines, we can also repair or install flashing on your roof, which is a flashing that will tuck into the back of the gutter.
Prevention and Repairs
The easiest and most cost-efficient method to prevent any issues with your gutters is to clean them regularly. We recommend two cleanings a year on average, possibly even more if your property is in a heavily wooded area. We can also provide a free estimate for a variety of gutter guards to meet any budget, which are all tax-free and pay for themselves with reducing the frequency in which you will need a gutter cleaning. Our crews flush the gutters after cleaning them, which removes all remaining debris and ensures all downspouts are working properly. This also serves as a way to ensure your gutters’ pitch is correct, and can be fixed onsite if needed.
With regular cleanings and maintenance, you can prevent most problems before they start. Call today for a free quote!