When gutters get clogged and water can’t drain away from your home, the weight of the excess moisture and debris can overtax your drainage system’s attachment to your roofline. The result? These loose or sagging gutters will eventually fall off your home.
Don’t ignore the issue! Gutters are a vital part of your roofing system, and they help keep moisture from damaging your roof and your home’s structural integrity.
Read on and learn the causes of loose gutters and simple ways to prevent this problem.
What Causes Gutters to Fall Off or Loosen?
1. Improper installation
Are your gutters leaning away from your home? If so, they may not have been installed properly. Shortcuts taken during installation can result in loose or falling gutters. When gutters loosen due to incorrect hanger spacing or other mistakes, the fascia board behind them experiences water damage and is no longer strong enough to support them. When this happens, your gutters won’t drain water safely off your roof.
How to prevent this problem: Find a reputable, experienced team of gutter pros to install your gutters to high standards.
2. Excess debris
When gutters aren’t cleaned out regularly, debris such as leaves and twigs can clog them, adding too much weight to your drainage system. When rain falls, water can’t drain properly due to these blockages, and the water adds to the weight of the gutter, taxing its attachment to your roof. The result? They loosen, sag, and eventually fall off your home, making it vulnerable to moisture damage.
How to prevent this problem: Install gutter guards to prevent leaves, twigs, and other debris from clogging your gutters.
3. Drainage issues
Your gutters should be slightly tilted so water drains toward your downspouts. The minor slant required for proper drainage isn’t visible from afar, but if done right, it is enough to guide the water to the downspout and away from your home. If your gutters don’t have the appropriate pitch, they fill with water, and the water’s weight eventually causes them to detach from your home.
How to prevent this problem: Find a trustworthy contractor to install your gutters properly so you won’t run into this issue again.
4. Gutter warping
Long-term, 24/7 exposure to the weather can eventually cause gutters to wear down. They continually expand and contract, making them more malleable until they become warped. Ice dams and snow from Chicago winters can accelerate the issue. You may need to invest in replacement gutters to avoid the risk of roof and foundation leaks.
How to prevent this problem: Proper installation, regular maintenance, and swift replacement when necessary will help your gutters function well throughout their lifetime.
5. Loose gutter spikes
Gutters are hung along a home’s roofline using “spikes” that help limit the horizontal expansion of the gutter material—particularly when temperatures rise. Over time, the spikes can be forced out so they no longer hold your drainage system in place, causing your gutters to fall off your home.
How to prevent this problem: This issue can’t be prevented, but it can be remedied. Your gutters can be re-secured by using new hardware like screw-in hidden hangers to reattach them to your roofing system.
6. Natural wear and tear
Just like other home exterior materials, your gutters will age. How fast they show signs of wear and tear depends on the material they are made of, the climate they endure daily, and how well they are maintained throughout their lifetime.
How to prevent this problem: When you have new gutters installed, hire a trusted contractor, and choose a high-performing brand of seamless aluminum or steel gutters to ensure durability and longevity.
Don’t Let Gutter Problems Linger
If your roof drainage system is not working as it should, take a look at our Homeowner’s Guide to Common Gutter Problems so you can address the issue at hand. Ignoring gutter problems only gives them time to get worse.
Gutter Solutions for Your Home
Don’t risk the problems moisture damage can cause to your home when your roof drainage system isn’t working correctly. Ready to get to the bottom of your Greater Chicago area home’s gutter issues?
At LeafCo Gutters, we’re experienced in recognizing the signs of failing gutters and can provide lasting, low-maintenance solutions—so you aren’t taking risks climbing ladders. Learn more about our gutter installation services.