The Ultimate Guide to Gutter Repairs
Updated: Apr 13
Being on the outside or your house, gutters can easily be forgotten about, yet they play a vital role in keeping your home water and damp-free. If you notice that there is a leak in your home, it could be your gutter.
Our guide will inform you on what to look out for to determine if your gutter needs repairing and what to do in this scenario. We will also advise you on how to maintain it properly in the future to prevent more of such problems from occurring.
Blocked Gutter: Roof and Gutter Cleaning
Overtime, gutters can gather a lot of debris that will build up and eventually block them. This could be anything from moss and leaves to bird nests and even dead animals - some of which are clearly more unpleasant than others.
Even if the blockage is small, it is still enough to be a cause for concern. Your gutters have the important job of carrying rainwater off your roof and away from your house. This cannot happen if there is a blockage, and you may find yourself facing multiple issues affecting your house as a result.
If you leave a blocked gutter untreated, it can cause the following problems:
- Foundation Damage
- Mould and Mildew
- Walls/Ceiling/Insulation Damage
- Wood Rot (if you have wooden structural work on your house)
As these problems accumulate or worsen, they will require more and more work to repair and will cost you a lot of money, something which could be avoided if you check and clean your gutters regularly.
How Do I Know If My Guttering is Blocked?
If you are unsure whether your gutters are blocked or not, there are some tell-tail signs that you can look out for (without needing to climb up a ladder and have a look).
The main thing to look out for before anything else is if you can actually see a build up of something blocking your gutter; if there are a bunch of leaves poking out above the edge of your gutter and collecting at the base of your roof, then it’s fair to say they are most likely causing a blockage.
The other (arguably) most obvious sign that your gutter is blocked is if it is overflowing. If water is not flowing freely out of your downpipe but is pouring over the edge of your gutters and down the side of your house, then they are most likely blocked.
Another thing to look out for, which isn’t always easy to spot, is if your gutter is sagging. Whilst this may not always happen, the extra weight from both the debris causing the blockage and the excess water that is being held in there can cause strain on your gutter, causing it to sag. Your gutters should remain level and never seem to be sagging, so this is a sign to take seriously that something is wrong.
It is also worth noting if birds are visiting your guttering a lot. If you notice that there are birds regularly perching on your gutter, this could indicate that they are building a nest, which will subsequently result in a blocked gutter.
Gutter Replacement and Proper Maintenance
If your guttering is unclean, suffers with regular blockages, or was installed improperly, then there is a high chance that guttering repairs will need to be carried out.
When are Guttering Repairs Needed?
Overflows and Leaks
If you do get your gutter cleaned regularly and clear out any blockages as soon as you notice them, but still find your guttering to be overflowing or leaking, then this is a sign that your gutter needs some form of reparation.
It could be that they suffered a faulty installation and simply need to be fitted more securely to your home.
Leaks can also be due to a gutter that is cracking and/or developing rust. If you notice this with your guttering, then it is important to get it looked at by a professional as soon as you can.
With the amount of water that your gutters see, it is inevitable for rust to develop over time. However, the longer it has to grow the more the metal of your gutters will start to flake and erode, which is why it is important to seek professional help in fixing your guttering as soon as you notice rust starting to form. If left untreated, your gutters can develop larger cracks and break.
Cracks and Holes
Likewise, if you see any cracks or holes in your guttering, you will likely need a gutter replacement. This is to prevent the broken gutter from breaking further and to ensure water is flowing away from your house correctly and efficiently without causing damage to your building’s structural assets.
If you notice that your guttering is pulling away from the edge of your house, then you will need to have this sorted. If your gutters suffer strain from heavy waterflow and excess water from blockages, this can cause them to sag and pull away from the edge of your house. This may lead to cracks and breaks, and may even damage your facias and soffits (which would also need to be repaired by an expert).
The Importance of Proper Maintenance
All of these potential issues are why proper maintenance of your guttering is important. Here are ways in which you can care for your gutters properly.
To ensure the prevention of blocked and damaged gutters, you should clean them out regularly. At least once to twice a year is recommended for cleaning out your gutters, however it may be advised to do so more depending on the foliage that is nearby; for example, if you have a pine tree or hedge near your house then you may want to check your gutters more often, or perhaps there is a large deciduous tree nearby that may require your gutters to have more frequent cleans during the autumn.
Cleaning gutters often requires you to go up on a ladder with a gutter trowel and hose, which can be dangerous and tricky. For this reason, we advise you seek professional help to clean your gutters.
You should carry out routine checks on your gutters so that you can become aware of any issues or faults that present themselves before they worsen and have more serious effects.
You can do this by inspecting your downpipe for clogs, looking out for signs of blockages and making note of anything that looks different or abnormal. It is better to check your suspicions with an expert than risk them being over nothing.
If you find yourself in the situation where you do require a professional to repair or replace all or part of your guttering, then you should not hesitate to do so.
Even if you do not wish to spend the money, by leaving the problem and hoping it goes away means it will just grow worse over time and you will end up spending more money and needing more work completed. Similarly, trying to fix it yourself is not only dangerous, but it is likely you will not fix it properly and the issue will just come back or you will cause more damage than there was in the first place.
Gutter Replacements: Types of Guttering
If you require a gutter replacement, then there are 4 main guttering profiles that you may be offered (or one in particular may be recommended to you).
- Half-round Gutters: This is the most common type of guttering. It is the traditional type that is defined by its softly curved ‘U’ shape - like a cylinder cut in half (as the name implies).
- Deep Gutters: These are similar in appearance to half-round gutters, however have a - you guessed it - deeper channel to allow for heavier rainflow.
- Ogee Gutters: This is a more decorative style of gutter. Also known as the K-gutter, the ogee (standing for ‘old-gothic’) gutter features a flat base and a curved edge that resembles the letter ‘K’.
- Box Gutters: Box gutters have a rectangular channel, offering a more modern look to accompany contemporary buildings. They can also handle more waterflow than that of half-round gutters.
Professional House Roofing Services
Do you have an issue with your guttering? Probuild Contracts have the roofing services you need. Based in Edinburgh but also serving surrounding areas, we are a team of professional roofing, plastering and property maintenance experts.
We can carry out guttering replacements, repairs and cleaning services for you when your gutters are in need of some TLC. We also offer other quality services, such as
If you are based in central Scotland and need an expert to speak with regarding your guttering, or simply want to learn more about what we do, then please don’t hesitate to contact us today.