Can Gutters Overflow in Heavy Rain?


This article was written and published by Rain Gutters Solution.


We all know the purpose of rain gutters. They protect your home’s foundations from the water that pools after a rainstorm, preventing damages that could ultimately compromise your property as a whole. Rain gutter installation contractors take care of manufacturing these gutters and mounting them below your roof, ensuring that they can last for many decades without ever failing to fulfill their purpose. Rain gutters are popular in all parts of the country, but they are particularly common in areas where rainstorms are intense and unpredictable. They are specifically built to withstand a bad storm, but the question remains: can gutters overflow in heavy rain? Such incidents have been known to happen, but most people aren’t as familiar with the causes that lead to such results.

How Do Rain Gutters Fare in Heavy Rain?

This is probably obvious, but it doesn’t hurt to give a reminder for those who are into DIY installation projects: ensuring that a gutter remains stable through heavy rains should be one of the main criteria dictating the installation process from its early stages. Heavy rains are a homeowner’s main concern because they mean constant onslaught of water falling on the foundations with no way to control it; a rain guttering system is meant to ease this burden and keep pace with all the rainwater, regardless of the speed and frequency at which it falls. For this, a contractor will design the gutters to accurately fit into the building’s measurements, using durable materials that can hold their own during a heavy rainstorm.

Ideally, a gutter’s design will rule out the possibility of spillage, but there are instances of heavy rain that manage to overflow the gutters, sending a shower of water down the sides of the house. Why does this happen, and can it be avoided?

Why Is My Gutter Overflowing?

If this is a regular occurrence each time you get heavy rain, it’s likely that your gutters are too small to handle the amount of water despite being perfectly positioned to do the job. This is a tricky situation since there are cases in which the limitations posed by the roof’s dimensions make smaller gutters the most fitting choice. If your gutter’s pitch and stability are in order but you still get water overflowing, then the gutter is simply not wide enough to carry all the water that falls during an intense rainstorm.

Many houses have 5-inch gutters even when 6-inch gutters are known to mark a stark difference when handling large amounts of water. To get maximum water-holding capacity without sacrificing your gutter’s proper placement, the best approach is to opt for custom-made gutters that can be adapted to your roof’s angles. Otherwise, you may find yourself replacing a perfectly functional gutter to fix the problem.

Now, your inspection may reveal that the problem lies on your gutter’s pitch. You might notice your gutters leaning farther from your roof or creating a pronounced slope. These stability problems could be easily solved after lowering the brackets that support your gutters. In other cases, however, they point towards structural damages that can only be fixed with extensive repairs.

A third possibility may be related to the placement of your downspouts. In some cases, there are not enough downspouts to receive all the water that gutters carry during heavy rains, or their location is not favorable to keep the water flowing properly. If you want to add new downspouts or make changes in your current drainage system, keep in mind that the renovations will inevitably extent to your current gutters.

The Main Cause of Overflowing Gutters

Manufacturing and installation problems are ultimately rare when you have your custom gutters built by a professional. At the end of the day obstructions/clogs remain the most common cause of overflowing. Basically, these are cases in which a clog blocks the passage of water inside your gutter, obstructing the current set by the guttering system until the water start spilling from the sides. Clogs are usually caused by debris buildup and can be exacerbated by leaves and branches in areas with abundant vegetation. The repercussions will be more evident during heavy rainstorms, but if you have a clog, the water will find its way to your sidings even in mild rain.

Regular maintenance usually stops this problem before it begins, since you’ll find the debris stuck on your gutter before more external elements have a chance to clog it in full. This is especially important during the rainy season.

You need to have your gutters cleaned at least once a year, but you should also consider repeating the process more often depending on the area where you live. Even before making a cleaning schedule, to just make a habit of checking the inside of your gutters each week (and after every rainstorm) goes a long way into preventing major structural issues. If you want to preserve your drainage system without risking accidents, Rain Gutters Solution offers a specialized gutter cleaning service that will save you trouble while ensuring that your gutters remain in top condition.

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