When rain pours onto your Chicago home and rolls down your roof, if you don’t have gutters, it tumbles to the ground surrounding the border of your home. The problem is that when the soil around your home gets saturated, foundation trouble can result—and it tends to be costly and time-consuming.
Gutters collect rain or melted snow and drain it away from your house. They’re an important part of your roofing system. They are typically made out of aluminum, but other materials are now being used for gutters: steel, vinyl, or copper.
The Problem with Leaky Gutters
When gutters leak, they are unable to do their job of directing water away from your home. If they leak, they need to be promptly attended to so you don’t risk compromising your home’s foundation.
What Causes Gutters to Leak?
Take a walk around your home while it’s raining, and observe how well your gutters work. If you see them leak, find out the cause, and fix it quickly to avoid bigger problems from the lack of proper functioning gutters. If you prefer to check gutters after a rain, look for stains on the sidewalk or concrete that surrounds your home, or water saturating and pooling in the soil adjacent to your home. Another indication of gutter leaks is if you see signs there is moisture infiltration in your basement after a storm. These are all signs of a faulty, leaky gutter. Here are a few of the likely culprits if your gutters are leaking:
1. Your gutters are old
Gutters leak as they get old. They may leak due to a hole in them, causing water to fall to the ground instead of going through the downspout and away from your home.
Solution: Out with the old, in with the new! New gutters will protect your home investment from costly foundation repairs due to leaks.
2. Your gutters are loose
If your gutters are pulling away from your home, it may look like you have a leak, but you don’t. Typically if your gutters aren’t secured tightly to your fascia, water will run down your roof and onto the ground bordering your home (it won’t even make it into the gutter).
Solution: We can take a closer look at your gutters to see if they need to be reattached to your fascia. If the fascia board is rotting, we can replace it and then reattach your gutters.
3. Your gutters are clogged
If your gutters overflow and water teems down around your home’s perimeter instead of away from your home, you likely have debris clogging your gutter. Clogged gutters cause leaks because gutters weren’t built to handle the weight of standing water and debris. Standing water can cause gutters to sag and pull away from the fascia, causing leaky gutters.
Solution: Clean your gutters regularly to avoid the hassles debris causes, or invest in secure gutter guards to prevent debris from gathering in your gutter.
4. Your gutters aren’t sloped properly
There should be a subtle slope to your gutters in order for them to work properly. If your gutters weren’t installed correctly, or if your gutters are clogged up from debris, water can begin to pool and weigh heavily on them. This causes rust and eventually a gutter leak.
Solution: Have the slope of your gutters checked and adjusted if necessary. Clean out your gutters regularly to keep debris from building up.
5. Your gutter hangers are loose
Internal hidden hangers fasten your gutter to your home’s fascia board. If a hanger becomes loose, water may damage your fascia boards as it flows over the rear edge of your gutters, causing water to fall to the ground by your home instead of going through the downspout and away from your home.
Solution: Hangers support your gutter system. Our team can check your hangers to see if they need tightened or your gutter needs a replacement.
6. Your downspout joints are separated
Gutter leaks can happen at the joints of your downspout. If debris gets caught in this area, downspout joints may corrode and deteriorate.
Solution: Talk to our gutter specialists about downspouts that direct water away from your home and landscaping, and won’t cause pooling.
How to Reduce the Possibility of Leaky Gutters
1. Keep your gutters properly maintained
Check your gutters periodically to make sure they are intact and doing their job. Make sure you don’t have debris clogging your gutters or downspouts so the gutter system can do what it’s made to do—guide water away from your home.
2. Use a gutter guard system
Uncovered gutters can get clogged with twigs, leaves, and granules from asphalt shingles. When debris clogs your gutters, it keeps rain from draining properly, and trouble can result. Soil saturation, water pooling near your home, and foundation trouble are a real hassle. A gutter guard system solves the problem of debris in your gutters by preventing it. Gutter guards let the rain in, and keep debris out of your gutters so they can do their job properly.
3. Choose seamless gutters over gutters with seams
One of the main culprits of gutter leaks are their vulnerable seams. Most gutters come in 10-20 foot sections, with seams between each (which is where leaks usually occur). Seamless gutters, however, don’t have a vulnerable seam and are less likely to leak. And seamless gutters look better on your home because they don’t have any seams in them, giving your home a more pleasant overall look. Prevent gutter leaks with seamless gutter installation that gives you peace of mind—even in the midst of storms.
Reliable Gutter Installation
At LeafCo Gutters, we understand how vital it is to protect your home’s foundation with a reliable gutter system. Our gutter installation team treats your home like their own and gives attention to detail so you can have confidence in your home. We install aluminum gutters by Mastic (which come with a 20-year warranty), and steel gutters by Nordic.