“Beware of great expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin.
Benjamin Franklin’s quote rings true not just for sailors, but for homeowners too!
It can be very frustrating to discover a leak in your home, and very unnerving trying to figure out the source!
Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid the mad scurry to find buckets every time it rains? And not have to worry about unnecessary water damage to your building foundations, outside furniture and deck area?
We’ve outlined below the most common causes of gutter leakage, and some ways to solve it before it gets out of hand.
Ah old age – it is inevitable for all of us. Unfortunately, the turns of time can also wear down your gutters. Sometimes, gutter leaks can occur regardless if they have been emptied or not. This may be to do with their age. Over a period of time, gutters can loosen. Following this diagnosis, you may need to have tighter fastenings installed. But it’s not all bad news – regular roof maintenance will undeniably enhance longevity.
Gaps and Cracks
Gaps can occur if the gutters have been neglected over time.
Without care and regular inspection, the connections joining your gutters can wear out from exposure to the elements. Spotting washed out soil underneath the gutter connection may indicate water is leaking through.
Grit and debris can potentially get into the seal itself which may cause erosion.
The simplest way to protect your connections is to ensure the gutters are cleaned on a regular basis to minimise debris rot.
Professional advice is recommended as damaged gutters can quickly lead to serious water damage.
Gutter Slope Problem
If your gutter is sagging, it is a sure sign to take action. Mounting brackets can also sag or become damaged, which can cause an incorrect gutter slope.
Ideally, your gutter should have a slight gradient to gently channel water to the downspout. However, as time marches on, or if the gutters have been weighed down by heavy debris, this slope system can sag too much. This may lead to excess water lying in the gutter, which can cause rust. Rust can then eat away at your gutters, creating holes. Left untreated, water pooling in the gutter can also attract mosquitoes and other unwanted pests.
A blocked gutter can lead to many associated issues. For instance, a clogged gutter can cause fascia damage. If your fascia board is timber, it can easily rot if exposed to increased moisture from an inefficient gutter system. Without regular upkeep, excess debris from your gutter can even clog the downpipes, which will overload them. This means the water will then naturally travel back up to the highest point – your gutters. Subsequently, your gutters may overflow causing leakage into ceiling cavities or other surrounding areas.
If you have a big blockage in your down pipes you would need to call out a plumber, which might end up being an expensive experience. Stubborn blockages may mean the use of a water jetter, and CCTV cameras to effectively identify the location of the obstruction – all of which may incur an added cost.
It’s tricky to identify the source of a leak yourself, so it’s always best to enlist the help of a professional. The tell-tale signs of water damage may not manifest themselves until well after the fact. Regular checks and maintenance help prevent potential issues before they become a problem.
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