Many homeowners know how vital a role gutters play in protecting their home from water damage and the common problems a gutter system can experience. These include leaks, overflowing gutters, and blocked downspouts. If your gutter system isn’t really functioning the way it should but you can’t quite put your finger on what’s wrong, you might be dealing with some uncommon gutter problems that need creative solutions.
Downspouts are typically situated at the corners of a residential structure where gutters change direction. If the downspout is jammed up against your neighbour’s property, a freestanding building on your own property, or a fence, the functionality of the gutter system might be improved by replacing the downspout with a rain chain. Rain chains are great for tight spaces. They are a vertical installation, guiding water down from the roof to the ground where it’s contained by a catchment basin or rain barrel.
Downpipes and Drainage Issues
Short downspout: In order to prevent a flooded basement or foundation problems, downpipes need to deposit water at least seven feet from the house. For downpipes too close to your home, downspout extensions will divert water away from exterior walls, depositing rainwater in a safer area of your property. Downspout extenders come in a variety of types designed to address specific situations. For instance, if you need to avoid running over the extender with the lawnmower, select a hinged downspout extension.
Not enough room: If you will be dealing with not enough room to accommodate some type of extender, consider installing a splash block. Splash blocks resemble shallow trays and work much like downspout extensions. A splash block guides water further away from your house but takes up less room. A rain barrel could also provide a good solution to this problem if you have the space width-wise.
Ground slope: The ground around a house generally slopes away from the foundation. But if it doesn’t, you could experience water seepage, basement flooding and soil erosion leading to a cracked foundation. It can also cause your landscaping to become water-logged. Installing a French drain or some other type of underground drainage system will help downspouts to better do their job.
Constantly Tightening Loose Hardware
Especially if you are constantly having to tighten loose hardware on a gutter system five years or newer, it could be due to a poor gutter installation. For example, gutter nails or gutter spikes might be perfectly acceptable for most standard installations but on your home gutter screws were required because of the thickness of the fascia. Sagging could also be an issue when copper gutters or aluminum gutters are installed with fewer brackets than needed for additional support.
Gutters don’t Seem to Fit
There are a number of reasons that rainwater gets in behind the back of the gutter or overflows or leaks from a gutter section or overshoots the gutter channel. Typical causes include debris buildup, loose hardware, and worn seams. A less common cause is that the gutters don’t seem to fit properly along the roofline. If you live in a house with gables and turrets or one with a unique roof configuration you might need to replace the gutters with custom gutters. This solution might not be as expensive as it first sounds – seamless aluminum gutters, for example, are affordable enough for most homeowners.