Common Causes of Gutter Leaks and How to Avoid Them

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Common Causes of Gutter Leaks and How to Avoid Them

A leaky gutter poses a big problem – it can do damage to your roof, fascia, siding, and can even cause serious damage to your foundation. It can also cause garden erosion, flooding, and wood rot.

Major repairs caused by a dripping gutter can result in costly repairs and stress. Your best weapon? Prevention. Save a ton of money by knowing the common causes of gutter leaks and how to avoid them.

Cause # 1: Unsecured Gutters

When there is a leak in your gutter, one potential cause is loose or unsecured hangers. Gutter hangers are internal or external accessories or joints. These hangers make sure your gutters are securely attached to your roof’s fascia board.

Sometimes the weight of rainwater, or wet stuff stuck along the rain gutter, causes the hangers to sag. As a result, when it rains, the water will seep through the loose joints— and you guessed it right, your entire gutter system will leak.

How To Avoid This Problem: 

Your gutter should be free of debris at all times. You can hire a cleaning service to clean the wet rubbish like leaves along your gutter and maintain its cleanliness. Additionally, secure the hangers tightly to the fascia board.

Cause #2: Harsh Weather Conditions

Most of the time, your enemy is harsh weather conditions, especially when the weather changes are severe. This natural occurrence can prove worse to galvanized steel gutters. When your gutters are exposed to bad changes in weather, they tend to crack at the seams. Your gutter nails and braces can also break and crack. 

How To Avoid This Problem

The only solution is to repaint your gutters. Why? You are countering the accumulation of rust under the paint coat. It is advisable to repaint your gutters properly so they can hold up for many years. If not, you will find yourself repainting several times a year.

Cause #3: Clogs

Clogs or congested gutters are common causes of leaks. When your gutters are packed with debris, like leaf litter, water will not go out through the downspout. Instead, with all the rubbish, the water will spill out over the edges of the gutter, and over the sides. Sometimes it’s the downspout that is clogged.

How To Avoid This Problem

Regularly check your gutters for debris and simply remove them by hand. If your home is particularly situated near trees and foliage, you may want to check your gutters every two to three months. If your home is nowhere near trees, best to check annually.

Cause #4: Improper Slope

It’s all about the angle. Your rain gutters should be slightly sloped downwards. Why? So that rainwater will slide to the downspout, all the way out to the ground. If installed incorrectly, and your gutters are improperly sloped, water gets stuck along the gutters. Heavy pools of water will cause your gutters to sag— and, yes, leak.

How To Avoid This Problem

To prevent this, observe your newly installed gutters when it rains. Or hire a rain gutter technician to inspect the downward slope, and if needed, to adjust it accordingly. 

Cause #5: Cracks, Holes, and Gaps

Holes, gaps and cracks are caused by rust. How does rust develop? When rain gutters— particularly metal ones— are not maintained properly. When neglected, rainwater or debris will pool in specific areas along the gutter, which builds rust. When rust-induced holes appear,  it will certainly cause major dampness to your home. 

How To Avoid This Problem

When you spot holes, gaps, and cracks, immediately work on covering them with a silicone waterproof sealant. Or you can remove the old sealant and replace it with a new one. 

Overflowing and blocked gutters in Winter.

It’s that time of year again when gutters start to overflow.  Why is this?

Over the year (or more if it has been a while since you last had your gutters cleaned), they have been collecting dust, dirt, leaves and other debris.  This debris has been broken down with the weather and water into what we term a gutter sludge.  It is kind of like a mud.

This sludge, along with the debris that hasn’t broken down can build up to a point where it blocks your gutter from allowing water to flow through it and down through your downpipes, away from your home.

Now you have overflowing gutters.  The biggest issue is, that if you see water overflowing from the front of your gutter, than you will most certainly have water flowing over the backside of the gutter, into your home.  We don’t need to tell you, but this is the start of potentially very expensive water damage to you home.

This is why we can recommend how often you need to have your gutters cleaned.  Some homes that don’t have a lot of debris or tress around may only need a service once a year.  If you live in a very leafy suburb with particular types of trees, you may need to have your gutters cleaned twice or even three times a year and in these cases, we would talk to you about Gutter Flow a type of gutter guard we use to space out your gutter cleans.

So if you have overflowing water from your gutters, you most certainly have a blockage and this is a sign that you need to have your gutters cleaned…. Asap.

Give us a call on 1300 654 253 and we can give you a free quote. 

Are your gutters overflowing?

With the winter rains comes lots of calls from home owners that their gutters are overflowing.  It is pretty clear to everyone that their gutters are now full of debris, blocking the gutters from doing their intended purpose of taking the rainfall landing on the roof of the property and moving it through the gutters away from the property (or into a rainwater tank).

A regular gutter clean would prevent this from happening and depending on the type of property and where the property is located (eg. do you have a lot of trees close by) that might be just once every 6 – 12 months, but just like a good insurance policy, it will protect you.

By the time your gutters are overflowing, it could be too late.  Generally, overflowing water will flow over the BACK of the gutters into your property, before the overflow over the FRONT of the gutters – the type of overflow you are more likely to see. 

Gutters are one of the ‘hidden’ maintenance items that are often overlooked by home owners because unless you are like us – obsessed by gutters – how often do you look up at your gutters?  And even if you are looking up at your gutters, how likely are you to see or know if they have debris in them or not?

Gutter cleaning is an essential property maintenance item and it is so important that it is not left off your list of items to get done.  We know that many customers often “forget” about their gutters so we even have a PMP service (Preventative Maintenance Plan) where by once we have completed your first gutter clean, we will let you know when your gutters would require their next service – depending on the environment surrounding your property and the type of gutters you have – and then we will even give you a notification when they are due.  A year can go by pretty fast and we are sure  you are not thinking every month ‘Do we need the gutters cleaned again?’.  We make it easy for you.

If you have blocked gutters that are overflowing, then don’t delay in giving us a call to clean them out.  With our specialised wet/dry vacuum system, it doesn’t matter how wet and muddy your gutters are, we will get them clean and working again for you and then we can help you out with our Preventative Maintenance Plan so you never have to remember to get your gutters cleaned again…. We do the reminder for you!

Gutter Cleaning at Bilgola Plateau

It’s an amazing experience every time we get on a roof to complete a gutter clean – especially at locations like Bilgola Plateau where we look out at exceptional views like this one.

This Bilgola Plateau property requires an annual gutter clean. Maintaining the yearly cleaning schedule will prolong the life of this property’s gutters and therefore delay the cost of gutter replacement for the owner. That’s because our regular gutter clean includes vacuum cleaning any debris such as leaves and twigs, as well as the removal of corrosive sludge.

This property also has a number of solar panels so while we are on the roof, we check to see if the solar panels need cleaning as well.

Like your gutters, solar panels experience build-up of grime, dust and other materials. This creates a film over the panels – impacting their efficiency by as much as 40%.

When combining a gutter clean with a solar panel clean, we offer a reduced rate per solar panel.

But we don’t just limit our solar panel inspection to cleaning. We also check if the panels are cracked or broken. If we see anything of concern, we’ll bring it to your attention.

If you would like a free quote for a gutter or solar panel clean, please call Gutter-Vac Upper North Shore & Northern Beaches 1300 654 253

Winter is here … are your gutters cleaned?

Having your gutters cleaned is such a simple thing to do to maintain your home.  The potential damage that just a small blocked gutter can do to your home or property can be huge.

We all know that the intended purpose of a gutter is to take the water that falls onto the roof of your property and divert it to the drains, away from your home.  Now if your gutter has even a small blockage that will prevent this flow of water, that’s where the problems start.

Most people assume (incorrectly) that the water will simply ‘overflow’ over the edge of the gutter and onto the ground.  Yes, some of the water will do that, but more often, the first way the water flows is over the edge of your gutter BACK TOWARDS your home.  It will overflow into your ceiling cavity, down the walls (inside and out) and can cause significant water damage. 

And it doesn’t have to be after a big rainfall either.  If you have an unnoticed blockage with an overflowing gutter that is not overflowing on the front of the gutter where you will see  it, but only back towards your house, then these small amounts of water, over an extended period of time will really cause serious water damage issues to your home that will be expensive to fix. 

We always get inundated with calls after the first big rainfall because that is when people notice their gutters are blocked and overflowing.  We suggest not waiting for the first big rainfall, it is a part of your maintenance that needs to be done at least every 12 months.

If you haven’t had your gutters cleaned in years and haven’t had overflowing gutters, then don’t assume you are safe!  Maybe they are not overflowing yet, but maybe this is the year that the build up in your gutters gets to the blockage size!

If is not the leaves that are the problem in your gutters.  It is when they break down and start to form a muddy sludge that sits in the bottom of your gutters.  This sludge starts to create almost like a dam wall or simple build up covering the bottom of your gutter, then covering up the bottom half of your gutter and then continuing to grow layer on layer.

So if you haven’t had your gutters cleaned in a few years, winter arriving is a good reminder that it is time to get them cleaned and don’t risk the potential expensive damage to your home for such a simple task to organise.  All you need to do is pick up the phone, make a local phone call to 1300 654 253 and you will be connected to your local Gutter-Vac Franchisees who can provide you with a free quote.

4 Reasons Why Your Gutters Might Be Leaking.

“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.

We continue to support you during this time and would like you to know we can provide a safe, no contact service during this period of social distancing.

Rest assured – we always prioritise the safety of our employees and customers.

Northern Beaches property managers, real estate agents, strata managers and commercial building managers prefer one gutter cleaning company

Learn why they choose Gutter-Vac Northern Beaches & Upper North Shore

The dust, dirt, leaves and debris that collect in gutters can also block downpipes – causing major plumbing issues. That’s why we vacuum clean the downpipes as well as the gutters.

But we don’t stop there. We also do 6 extra service features to keep everyone happy. That’s why we’re the preferred choice for real estate agents, property managers, strata managers and commercial building managers across the Northern Beaches.

6 Additional service features included with every gutter clean from Gutter-Vac

  1. All leaves and debris removed from gutters, roof and downpipes are taken away by us so there’s no extra cleaning work to do.
  • We provide before and after photos of the roof and gutters so you and your clients can see what we’ve done.
  • We also supply a roof and gutter report showing the condition of each building’s roof and gutters.
  • If you’re serious about preventing future plumbing problems due to blocked drains and downpipes, we can provide a Regular Maintenance Program with “set and forget” scheduling. We’ll even notify you, in advance, of the date for the next clean.
  • Many insurance companies are now asking for proof of regular roof maintenance when investigating claims relating to roof and water damage. As one of our Regular Maintenance Program clients, we can provide you with proof of our last visit and the date for our next scheduled visit.
  • All of our roof and gutter cleaning technicians are safety trained with Work at Heights and are fully insured.

Take advantage of our Regular Maintenance Program

Our Regular Maintenance Program takes the headache out of planning and monitoring regular roof, gutter and downpipe cleaning.

Each plan is tailored to the individual needs of the building and its surrounds – considering things like the proximity and number of deciduous trees near the building.  Typically roof and gutter cleaning occurs every 3, 6 or 12 months but the timing is entirely up to you.

For a complimentary roof and gutter inspection report (with photos) for any of the properties in your care, contact the team at Gutter-Vac Northern Beaches & Upper North Shore on 1300 654 253.

We’re the Northern Beaches gutter cleaning specialists covering Manly, Dee Why, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Newport, Avalon, Terrey Hills and Frenchs Forest.

When was the last time you looked at your roof?

For many of us, out of sight means out of mind. But when it comes to your roof, that can be a problem. There could be broken or slipped tiles, lifting ridge capping or, if you have a metal roof, sheeting that’s come loose due to rusting roof screws.

But the most common roof problem we see is rusted gutters because they haven’t received the regular care and maintenance they need.

Damaged gutters or a roof in disrepair will leak when it rains – causing damage to your home. That’s why Gutter Vac Upper North Shore and Northern Beaches, provide a FREE Roof and Gutter Inspection report with photos so you can see what’s happening up there.

Best of all, we have all the safety equipment and thorough training which means you don’t have to put yourself in danger by climbing the ladder or getting onto your roof. We’re also fully insured.

Our gutter cleaning service is super-efficient because we have a unique gutter vacuuming system that sucks out all the sludge, mud, dirt, leaves and other debris from your gutters.

If you want a roof that will keep your home dry, call the professional roof and gutter specialists at Gutter Vac Upper North Shore and Northern Beaches on 1300 654 253.

We take care of the Northern Beaches including Manly, Dee Why, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Newport and Avalon.