4 Common Causes of Sagging Gutters & How You Can Prevent It
Don't let sagging gutters get you down or cause the cost of your home repairs to skyrocket! The experts at Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island offer several solutions to help repair your sagging gutters and ensure your system performs the way it was intended.
At the simplest level, your gutters are designed to allow the free flow of water from your roof, into the gutter trough, and down the spout. The gutter system’s ability to perform this critical function depends on securely attached gutters and a properly functioning gutter system. In the event your gutters are sagging, it's much more than an aesthetic problem — it can lead to astronomical home repair costs.
Why Are Sagging Gutters a Problem?
Sagging gutters can create a number of problems from restricting drainage to compromising the integrity of your home’s foundation. When gutters sag they can cause leakage or an overflow of rainwater which can seep through the roof, eaves, behind the fascias, into basement window wells and under the foundation.
Improper drainage leads water onto the ground resulting in erosion, seepage into the foundation, and flooding of the basement. A wet, damp, cold environment provides a haven for mold to develop and thrive, which also opens the door for an infestation of insects, termites and/or rodents.
However, you can avoid all of these chilling outcomes by knowing what causes sagging gutters and the steps you can take to prevent them. Continue reading to learn more about sagging gutters.
Gutters need to be properly installed to prevent sagging. Poor installation may include not using the right size gutters, downspouts, and elbows, placing support hangers too far apart, or not aligning/pitching the gutters correctly. These issues make sagging more likely, particularly if water, debris, ice, or snow accumulates inside the trough.
Gutters also need to be installed with the right projection and pitch (angle) so water can flow instead of accumulating or backing up. Otherwise, the weight of the water, snow or ice will put excessive pressure on the gutter and weaken the support hardware resulting in sagging gutters.
Gutters are not made to last forever. Over time, warping (bending) can occur and result in sagging. The materials used to manufacture gutters are what make them vulnerable to becoming deformed, bent, or twisted out of shape.
Gutters made from vinyl, aluminum, and steel tend to expand during the hot weather season and contract when the weather is cold. To reduce warping, some manufacturers galvanize steel gutters or line aluminum gutters with a non-corrosive coating. While this helps to some extent, other factors can still affect the stability of the gutters and cause sagging.
Inadequate Gutter Support
Gutter systems are set up using gutter hidden hangers for support (gutter spikes - the old way - are rarely used anymore). They help to strengthen and provide reinforcement against severe weather and the buildup of ice, snow, water, or debris such as leaves, twigs, or acorns.
Hangers that are anchored too wide apart result in uneven distribution of weight and excess strain on the gutters. If the hangers are not spaced correctly or properly anchored to the fascia, it may be only a matter of time before the gutters start to sag. This goes back to the issue of poor installation where the wrong length of screws (typically on inferior hangers) may have been used to affix the gutters to the fascia. All too often we have seen the use of inferior hardware on new gutter installations causing them to fail prematurely.
Pine needles, leaves, twigs, acorns, ice, and snow are known culprits that clog gutters and prevent the free flow of water. They can accumulate in the trough or slip down into the downspout and get trapped there. The weight from this debris coupled with water backing up can bear down on gutters and cause sagging, especially in the section closest to the blockage.
Sometimes gutters may even pull apart from the roof and fall off. It is not necessarily a simple task to check for debris since gutters are located at roof level. To avoid the risk of falling or injury, it's always safer to get help from a professional whenever you need to check for blockage or inspect gutters. However, you can help prevent this from happening by scheduling regular gutter cleanings.
How to Prevent Sagging Gutters
Regular inspection, maintenance, and repairs, particularly ahead of heavy rainfall or snowfall season, can help to protect gutters against sagging, leakage, and property damage. These problems can be adequately corrected by relying on a professional gutter service. For example, gutters that are poorly installed will require the right tools and expertise to make necessary adjustments or reinstall the system altogether. Gutters that sag due to weight from ice dams may also require the right expertise for ice dam removal. Most importantly, it's imperative to know when to replace failing gutters that sag.
Contact Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning to Repair Your Sagging Gutters
If your gutters are sagging, don’t wait til they’re on the ground! The experts at Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island will quickly determine the cause of the sagging gutters and offer you the most affordable solution.
Our goal is to always protect your property and prevent expensive repairs down the line. If necessary, we can install a new system along with gutter guards for extra protection. Just give us a call today at 631-582-0142 to schedule a service and put your mind at ease.