Why Do Gutters Leak from the Bottom?

This article was written and published by Rain Gutters Solution.

This is one of the questions we get asked more often. It is a common problem that many homeowners overlook until they start to see damage to their property. What kind of damage? Gutters that leak from the bottom can cause serious issues for your home, such as ruining your siding, soffit, and fascia, causing flooding, and even seriously damaging your property’s foundation.

When unattended for an extended period, gutters leaking from the bottom can strike a deadly blow to your wallet. That is why it is crucial to identify the possible causes and fix the issue as quickly as possible.

A word of caution, though. Getting a professional to identify the problem is always a good idea since many leaky gutters have multiple causes. Experience pays off here since professionals can make a comprehensive diagnosis and fix the issue permanently. Now, onto the possible reasons why gutters leak from the bottom.

What Causes Leaky Gutters and How To Fix It

When your gutters leak, it is usually from one or a combination of several of the following causes:

  • Clogs
    This is the most common cause of leaky gutters, and the culprit is usually litter and debris. Even though it is common, it is by no means minor because it can cause severe problems to your roof, floors, walls, and foundation.

    Depending on where the clog is, it might be as simple to fix as removing the debris that is clogging your gutter by hand. Or, it can be as troublesome and complex as completely disconnecting your downspout from your gutter if that’s where those annoying leaves, pine needles, and other debris have accumulated.

  • Cracks and Holes
    Even the best gutter system doesn’t last forever. Eventually, small cracks and holes will appear due to exposure to the elements. These will appear faster if the gutter is not clean and maintained correctly.

    The damage cracks and holes can cause to your house is the same as with any problem in your gutter system, including clogs. Yet, if you don’t fix minor cracks and holes in time, they will eventually get bigger. Then, besides repairing the damage to your property, you’ll also have to change the complete gutter system.

    A quick way to identify cracks and holes is to pour water into your gutter, notice where the leaks are, and then inspect the area. As we mentioned before, big holes and cracks will require changing the entire gutter. But minor ones can be easily fixed by applying a waterproof sealant or caulk over the damage.

  • Separated or Improperly Sealed Joints
    Over time, and especially if the installation was not done by a professional, the different sections that make up your whole gutter system will begin to dislodge. Between these separations, water will start to leak from the bottom.

    These separations could be easy to spot or so slight that you might need to pour some water to identify the correct spot. However, sometimes the issue is not so much about a separation occurring but that the sealant might be so old that it is no longer watertight.

    Whether the issue is the sealant of clear separations between joints, there is a possibility that the best fix is to replace that section.

  • Improper Slope
    Yes, time does affect everything. And, even with the best installation, gutters can begin to sag over time due to water weight or because the fasteners start to come loose.

    To fix this problem, you must re-hang the sagging section and do so with the proper slope. Keep in mind that there should be no more than a ΒΌ-inch drop in the direction of the downspout.
    Often it is not just that section but the entire gutter that needs to be re-hung to get the proper slope.

  • Loose Fasteners
    Gutters are affixed to the fascia boards using some form of screws, nails, spikes, clips, brackets, or hangers that come loose over time and can also get rusted. This is only natural, given that gutters are exposed to years of temperature extremes and water.

    The best way to fix this issue is to replace them. But make sure you do so with longer nails, spikes, or screws than the ones that were used before.


How To Prevent These Problems?

The best way to prevent these problems is to keep your gutters in good shape with regular maintenance. Here’s a comprehensive list of what that entails:

  • Regular gutter cleaning after each season.
  • Investing in gutter or leaf guards to protect your gutters and reduce the frequency you would otherwise need to clean them.
  • Keeping your roof free of leaves so these don’t fall into your gutter.
  • Each year, hire professionals to inspect your gutters for cracks and other damage, holes, loose or missing screws, and more. Then, have them repair your gutter to leave it in top form.

Rain Gutter Solutions provides all these services and more. We are one of the top gutter installation, cleaning, and manufacturing companies with over 20 years of experience serving the South Florida community and surrounding areas.

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