5 Common Gutter Issues and Their Solutions

Gutter issues cover image

Cleaning your gutters isn’t a fun household task. Many put it off thinking, “What kind of damage can clogged gutters cause? Surely it can wait.” However, if left unchecked, gutter issues can cause significant structural damage to your home. Learn the most common gutter problems, how to fix them before it’s too late, and when it’s time to replace your gutters altogether.

The main purpose of rain gutters is to collect the runoff water from your roof and channel it away from the foundation. Gutters are constantly battling against the elements to keep that channel open and free of leaks or sags. Once they become clogged or damaged, it’s essential to get them fixed right away to avoid more expensive repairs and damage further down the road.

When replacing your gutters is the best call, Asher Exteriors can help. Call in our experts for new seamless rain gutters and gutter guards. We proudly serve homeowners in and around Menomonie and Eau Claire, WI.

Graphic comparing bad gutters and good gutters

Gutter Problems: What They Are & How to Fix Them

There are five main types of gutter problems that homeowners are likely to encounter. Each has its own potential to cause foundational damage, and each can be easily fixed if caught in time. If you fail to notice these issues before they get out of hand, you’ll need to call a professional for either gutter repair or gutter repair or replacement.

The solutions to these common problems may be as simple as removing debris or patching a hole. They may also be as tedious as rehanging the gutters, but learning how to recognize your unique gutter issue is the first step to fixing it. It’s also critical to know when your gutters need professional attention. If you notice that they have begun to corrode or are completely detached from your home, it’s definitely time to call in the experts.

Image of gutters that sagged so badly they broke

1. Sagging Gutters 

When there is a dip in the line of your gutters, it invites water to stay there and prevents proper drainage into the ground. This causes excess stress on that section of gutter and may cause the hardware to fail, leading to further sagging or, even worse, a total collapse of the gutter section. As the water begins to leak from this low point, it can cause rotting of the wood in the eaves and eventual erosion of the foundation.

The best solution is to rehang this section of gutter with better hardware before it leads to further damage. If your gutters are sagging so severely that they’re detaching from each other and/or your home, it may be time to call in the experts to replace your system.

To recap, the negative consequences include:

  • Hardware failure
  • Incorrect drainage
  • Foundational rot and erosion

Image of an individual hanging gutters

Solution: Gutter Hanger Replacement

The remedy to fix sagging rain gutters is often quick and easy. All it takes is tightening the screws that are already there. If you add a few extra screws between those that already exist, you will strengthen the gutter system and prevent the need for future repairs. Replacing your gutter hangers can be a 10-minute task if you have the accessibility and the right tools.

Required Tools:

  • Ladder
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws

Image of a leaking gutter

2. Leaking Gutters

When storm damage hits your home, you may be looking for broken glass or missing shingles, but taking the time to check your gutters for leaks should also be a top priority. If neglected, a leaking gutter can slowly erode the underlying support and foundation below the leak. It may be hard to spot on a clear sunny day. That’s why you should always check for damage directly after a storm to ensure the water is draining as it should.

When gutters begin to corrode and gaping holes and tears appear, the damage is too much to repair, and you’ll want to consult a professional about your replacement options.

Leaking gutters can cause various problems:

  • Foundation erosion
  • Gutter corrosion
  • Hardware failure

image of an individual repairing a hole in their gutter

Solution: Gutter Hole Repair

Once you have spotted the leak in your gutter, fixing it is a low-maintenance task. If the hole is small, a bit of plastic roofing cement can be applied using a putty knife. For larger holes, you may want to cut a strip of flashing to cover the hole and secure it with the same application of cement to fix your gutter leak.

Required Tools:

  • Ladder
  • Plastic roofing cement
  • Putty knife
  • Flashing scraps

Image of gutters with improper slope

3. Improper Gutter Slope

One of the more challenging gutter issues to spot is an improper gutter slope. This can lead to standing water in your gutter, or worse, water pooling in your gutter at its lowest point. If you notice your gutter failing to drain without any visible leaks, the gutter slope could be the issue. It isn’t as easy of a fix as the others but will cause excess stress to your gutter system if not taken care of.

We don’t recommend attempting to fix improperly sloped gutters yourself. Mistakes in gutter slope can cause several problems. Too much or too little leaves your home susceptible to water damage, so it’s essential to call a reputable gutter company that has the right experience and tools.

When a gutter system’s slope is wrong, you may experience:

  • Hardware failure
  • Standing or pooling water
  • Gutter system stress and eventual irreparable damage

man rehanging gutters

Solution: Rehang Your Gutters

The proper slope for gutters is ½ inch over 10 feet, but if the gutter is more than 40 feet long, you may want to pitch it in the middle to two different drainage spouts. To fix a gutter slope, you will need to rehang the gutter by taking out the hardware and remeasuring the pitch. This can be done solo but would be much easier with a partner who knows a bit about how to fix a gutter slope and has the right tools.

Required Tools:

  • Level
  • Screw Driver
  • Tape measure
  • Ladder

Image of gutters clogged with debris

4. Clogged or Blocked Gutters

The most common issue for any homeowner is dirty gutters. Each fall and spring, you will need to climb around the whole perimeter of your roof to clean out the clogged gutters. Full gutters will lead to gutter drainage issues, ultimately causing the gutters to overflow, which results in foundational erosion due to continuous water damage. Luckily the most common problem also has the most straightforward solution.

Despite the simple solution, clogged gutters can cause serious problems:

  • Foundational erosion
  • Small animals are attracted to dirty gutters
  • Hardware failure

Image of the solution to clogged gutters

Solution: Debris Removal

It’s a dirty job, but one that needs to be done before it can cause further damage. To fix gutters that overflow, you’ll need to get up on a ladder and remove the debris that has accumulated over the year. A great way to avoid this recurring issue is to install gutter guards. They come in various styles, all of which will help keep the majority of debris out of your gutters.

Required Tools:

image of severely damaged gutters

5. Gutter Damage

Without the proper maintenance and attention to detail, gutter damage is almost impossible to avoid. Even if your home is located far from falling trees and hail zones, gutter erosion will happen if you fail to maintain your gutters correctly.

It’s important to keep in mind that this can be avoided for years with proper installation from trusted professionals like our team of experts at Asher. Still, it’s critical to recognize that your gutters will likely need to be repaired or replaced eventually.

Image of a man installing gutters

Solution: Resecure Gutters or Replace Them

Replacing your gutters can be an expensive task, and it can be hard to tell whether they need to be repaired or replaced. Consult with one of our professionals first to see if there is a way to reinforce or repair them. At Asher, we have an eye for gutter damage that may go unnoticed or simply unrecognized by the average person. If you’re looking for gutter overflow solutions and haven’t found your answer online, it may be time to call for a consultation.

When replacing your gutters is the best call, Asher Exteriors can help. Call in our experts for new seamless rain gutters and gutter guards. We proudly serve homeowners in and around Menomonie and Eau Claire, WI. 

image of a woman repairing gutters

How to Prevent Future Gutter Problems

The majority of gutter issues can be prevented with regular and proper maintenance. If you’re a new homeowner or looking to extend the life of your gutters, add these maintenance tips to your spring cleaning list.

  • Clean your gutters: A quick lap around your house will ensure proper drainage all season long
  • Check for leaks: After a storm is the best time to spot any improper drainage throughout a gutter system
  • Look for sags: It is better to catch a slight sag early on than have to repair a collapsed gutter months down the line
  • Check the pitch: You may consider bringing a level with you while you clean the gutters to ensure they are properly sloped toward the drain
  • Look for damage: After each storm, check for major damage and make a call to repair it right away 

Image of a ladder up against a house underneath the gutters

Let Asher Lasting Exteriors Solve Your Gutter Issues

Familiarizing yourself with simple repairs for common gutter issues is a great way to avoid expensive, time-consuming home repair projects. Furthermore, learning what actually causes gutters problems and what their negative consequences are will help you understand why it’s vital to spend a little extra time on maintenance now, so you can save your time and money for activities you genuinely enjoy.

Here at Asher Lasting Exteriors, we aim to limit the need for future repairs by ensuring proper gutter installation from our trusted professionals. We supply our customers with the highest quality gutter products on the market. Contact our experts today to explore your options for new or replacement gutters. We proudly serve the Menomonie and Eau Claire, WI, areas.