Often the first thing a homeowner notices about a gutter problem is water pouring over. Most often creating a noise while they’re trying to sleep, or bestowing unto them a wet head as they leave their house. The very first thing to check at this stage is that the gutter outlets aren’t blocked. This can be done by inspecting the junctions where the downpipes meet the gutter and checking for plants, balls, mud and other such things stopping the water from draining away. Next check for dirt in the guttering. If you have a lot of moss or dirt, or some roof mortar blocking the water flow, clean it out and test the gutter with water. If that’s all fine but the water still refuses to go away check the pipes aren’t blocked.
Guttering not level
If after you have checked for blocked outlets and dirt, the guttering is still holding visible water, over 25mm (an inch), then you have poor gutter alignment. Each bracket should have a very slight fall, or at worse be level until it reaches the lowest part of a gutter run, the outlet. The installer should have ensured a constant ‘fall’ so that the water not only runs away, but cleans itself at the same time. If this isn’t the case water can quickly build up, overflowing in one, or multiple locations. This also puts an unreasonable burden on any gutter joins and shortens their lifespan as the water freezes in winter, expanding under the gaskets and adding lots of unnecessary weight. Often the only cure is to unclip the guttering where affected, and refit the gutter brackets with a spirit level. This often means lowering the outlet too.
Many people seem to miscalculate exactly how necessary it is to retain their home’s gutters in tip- top shape – Their job is to keep the elements off of a home.
If your gutters are not clean then moss, roof debris etcetera will cause them to get blocked up, meaning that the rainwater has to go somewhere else and gets displaced.
Leaking and overflowing guttering has the potential to soak in to house walls and cause damp. The water may also get pushed backwards at the roofline level and you may start to see damp appearing on bedroom ceilings near outside walls.
Blockages in gutters can also potentially have your home’s joints be forced apart due to roots of plants (or even just the sheer weight of debris in your gutters).
Once this gutter joint (which is vacuum-sealed) gets compromised then it’s unlikely to rejoin to form a water-tight seal again without some intervention.