Have you ever had this happen? You’re sitting in your home during a heavy rainstorm, only to hear what sounds like a major leak. So, you wander around looking for the cause, only to realize the culprit is your gutters!
If your gutters are overflowing—with water pouring out in all the wrong places—instead of safely draining through the downspouts, there’s a problem. You’re probably dealing with one or more of these 5 key causes of overflowing gutters.
What Makes a Gutter System Overflow
To function properly, your gutters must be carefully attached at just the right spots along roofing, eaves, and siding. When your gutters are correctly installed, your drainage system will capture water runoff from your roof and remove it safely away from your home. That means it shouldn’t be leaking or overflowing. Water should only emerge from the downspouts.
If that’s not happening, then the water will pour over the edges of your gutters, putting your siding, eaves, and foundation at risk of moisture damage. Fixing the issue will mean examining your gutter system for one or more of these 5 issues.
1. Your gutters aren’t properly pitched (angled).
Unless you’ve had overflowing or other issues, you may not realize this—but your gutters need to be installed at the right angle (or pitch) to help water drain properly. During a gutter installation, all the elements of your drainage system must be well lined up and properly pitched.
If your gutters aren’t angled right, the water will either flow too fast into one area or won’t flow from one end to the other, leading to overflows.
2. Your gutters are too small.
Heavy rains can happen anywhere, and if a super-intense rainstorm blows through, your gutters may not be able to handle the excess water. If this happens once every several years, you might chalk it up to a freak weather situation.
However, if teeming overflows are happening often, they may be the result of gutters that are too small for your property. Five-inch gutters are the most common size, but they work best for small and mid-sized homes as well as areas with little rain. If you own a large house in a place with strong rainstorms, you may be better off with six-inch gutters to handle the excess water.
3. The gap between gutters and roofing is off.
To function correctly, your gutters must not hang too low—or they won’t catch all the water coming off your roof. The water will end up pouring over the sides of the gutters instead of through them.
Low-hanging or improperly positioned gutters can be the result of faulty installation. The best way to deal with the issue is to have gutter pros repair—or more likely, replace—your drainage system so that it is set exactly where it should be.
4. There is damage somewhere in your drainage system.
Gutters break down over time, due to age. They may also get broken or bent due to being struck by debris, such as a heavy tree branch, during a rainstorm. Other issues, such as rust or rough treatment from squirrels and other pests, can cause parts to shift and crack.
Regardless of the cause of the damage, if you’re seeing—or even just suspecting—that you have cracks, bending, disconnected parts, missing brackets or other problems, it’s time for a gutter replacement.
5. Debris is stuck in your gutters.
While clogged gutters are often assumed to be the main reason for overflowing gutters, this is not always the case. Nevertheless, it is certainly possible for leaves, sticks, dirt, feathers, small toys, and other debris to get stuck in your gutters.
If you get lots of clogs, gutter guards are an excellent solution. Gutter guards keep your drainage system free of debris and delightfully low maintenance.
LeafCo’s Guide to Common Gutter Problems
Learn more about all the issues you may face with your gutters in our handy guide.Read the Guide
Get New Gutters that Perform with Precision—from LeafCo Gutters
No matter what’s causing your gutters to overflow, our pro team at LeafCo Gutters will help you identify the problem. We’ll also go over all your options to stop overflowing gutters. Our beautiful, long-lasting seamless gutter systems eliminate overflow and keep your home protected from moisture damage.
Learn more about the benefits of our seamless gutters to safeguard and beautify your Chicago home.