Your gutters do important work. They collect water from your roof and direct into stormwater drains or rainwater tanks. And while this may seem simple enough, what your gutters are really doing is protecting your home from serious water and drainage problems that have the potential to cause massive cosmetic and structural damage and can be hugely expensive to fix.
So, while a leaking gutter may seem like a minor annoyance, it could be the start of serious and costly problems. Water damage can be insidious. What seems like a slowly dripping leak can progressively get worse and lead to serious problems.
Common guttering problems
Common gutter problems include leaking, sagging and overflowing gutters. Any one of these issues can lead to serious water damage problems including staining to exterior walls, damage to internal walls and ceilings, roofing damage, pest problems, damage to structural timbers, risk of electrical fires and even foundation cracking.
So let’s have a look at each of these issues and how they can be fixed quickly and easily (without the need for specialised equipment or roofing expertise).
How to Fix Leaking Gutters
Gutter leaks will most commonly occur through the joins or seams between gutter pieces, but can also occur through holes in the gutter floors. Gutter leaks will get worse over time as the water will corrode the gutters and the holes will get bigger. This can lead to more costly repairs including fixing collapsed gutters and even replacing damaged sections. So if you spot a leak, it’s important to get onto it as quickly as possible.
Here’s what you need to do.
To fix a leaking seam, you first need to ensure that the seam and the area around it is completely clean and dry inside and out. Apply a flexible and water-resistant silicone sealant or gutter caulking compound to the inside and outside of the seam. If possible, clamp the gutter parts together to prevent any movement while the compound is drying. You may need to leave the compound for up to 24 hours to dry completely, so ensure there’s no rain on the horizon.
For patching small gutter holes, all you need is some roofing cement. Make sure the area around the hole is clean and dry inside and out. If there’s any rust around the hole, try to remove as much as possible with a metal brush before patching the hole. Using a putty knife, spread the cement generously over the inside and outside of the hole and allow to dry.
For fixing larger holes, you will need a sheet metal patch and roofing cement or roofing sealant. Again, you need to thoroughly clean and dry the area around the hole. Using a wire brush, remove as much rust from around the hole as possible. Spread a generous amount of roofing cement around the hole and press the metal patch down. Make sure the patch covers the entire hole and an area of gutter around the hole. Once the cement has dried, you can either completely coat the patch with another coat of roofing cement, or apply a ring of sealant around the edge of the patch. Allow ample time for the cement or sealant to dry.
How to Fix Overflowing Gutters
Overflowing gutters are one of the most common guttering problems. Left unchecked, an overflowing gutter can start to pull away from the roof and walls due to the excess weight. It can also lead to water pooling around the walls of your home. Over time, this water can seep into the foundations, causing major structural problems that can be extremely expensive to fix.
Fortunately, overflowing gutters are simply to fix. They are usually caused by either blocked gutters or downpipes. Regularly cleaning the debris from your gutters will help to prevent overflowing. You may also need to remove blockages from downpipes.
Gutter guards can help to reduce the amount of debris getting caught in your gutters, but it’s worth doing some research before installing gutter guards, as they are not always a practical solution.
If your gutters are still overflowing even after cleaning any debris and blockages, then the problem could be with your gutter capacity. If your gutters and downpipes aren’t large enough to handle the amount of water coming off your roof, then you may need to install a larger capacity guttering system. In that case, it is definitely time to call in the roofing pros. The Himalayas Group can handle all your roof gutter cleaning in Melbourne.
How to fix sagging gutters
In general, gutters aren’t designed to carry much weight. Any water entering the gutters should quickly run through and out the downpipes. However, blockages or damage to the gutters can lead to water pooling, which means your gutters could be holding much more weight than they were designed to. In this case, they will start to bend and sag as the guttering materials flex under the weight of the water. The gutter fixings can also start to pull away from the roof or walls, again leading to sagging or bending.
To fix sagging gutters, you may need to install new gutter hangers or reseat the existing hangers into the walls. Common gutter hanger systems include clip-style hangers and spike-and-ferrule hangers. In some cases, the sagging gutters may be caused by rotting wood that no longer properly secures the hangers. In this case, you may need to call in a roof repair specialist, since rotting wood around gutters is a pretty clear sign of water damage.
Call in the Pros
While most of this repair work is within the realms of a competent home DIY enthusiast, for best results you may want to call in Melbourne’s roof and gutter cleaning and repair pros. If your gutters need some repair work, then contact Himalayas Group today on 0415 841 606.