Sagging gutters don’t just look bad – they actually slow your gutters down. And when rain gutters don’t work properly, they don’t protect your home the way they should. If neglected, sagging gutters or gutters that have pulled away from the fascia, can lead to water damage.
Bits of twigs, leaves, needles and pine cones might not seem like they can do much harm just lying around. But the amount of debris can really buildup, adding weight to a gutter system. When debris in the gutter channel collects enough to form clogs resulting in standing water, even more weight is added, which might cause the gutters to sag. When sagging gutters are ignored, they will eventually spill over, leading to water damage, mold growth and/or a compromised roof.
A Little Warped
Gutters made of materials like aluminum, steel and vinyl expand and contract. Hotter weather cause gutter systems to expand while cool temperatures and colder weather make them contact. Over time, gutters might become misshapen or warped, depending on the degree and how much expansion and contraction has occurred. When they become bent out of shape, gutters are prone to sagging or breaking away.
Another reason for sagging gutters is where they have pulled away from the fascia. This typically happens in older gutter systems when nails have been used to secure gutter sections to the fascia boards. As they age, including the effects of expansion and contraction, the spikes or nails get pulled out of the fascia. Today, most contractors use hidden gutter hangers which require screws instead spike nails, providing added support, making the gutter system stronger.
Gutters can sag because of an improper gutter installation. Common installation mistakes include: use of incorrect gutter/downspout size for roof configuration; inaccurate pitch (gutter slope); insufficient number of hangers. When gutters have not been improperly installed, standing water can result. If it isn’t secured correctly with the right number of hangers that are evenly spaced, undue stress can be put on a gutter system.