Gutters – Reasons They Overflow
The primary reason that gutters overflow is because the gutter is clogged. It may not look it from the ground, but in the vast majority of cases, a properly designed gutter system only overflows because of blockage cause by animals and birds and accumulated vegetation.
It is important to check to make sure that gutters are not clogged before calling in for warranty issues. Gutter companies cannot be held responsible for environmental issues outside of their control and have to charge a fee to perform a service if they send out personnel and equipment and find that the problem is not their work but rather an act of nature.
Check the gutter itself, the downspout and the elbows. If you are unable to determine the reason for the overflow, then call your gutter company and they will come out and check it for you. Again, remember, no one can control the unpredictability of environmental issues, so use common sense. Obviously if you prefer not to be bothered, your service provider will be appreciative of the work you send him.
If you have a relatively new gutter installation, but chose not to install gutter protection or some sort of leaf guard system, your warranty will not cover blockage due to issues beyond the control of your gutter installer. You might want to consider gutter protection at the time of installation or if you have to call in your gutter company due to clogged gutters. That is the perfect time to negotiate. Have them fix the problem for free before they install the gutter protection system.
Reputable gutter companies stand behind their work and are very mindful of their reputation, but there is a reason why accessories are offered to you when you install a new gutter system. Gutter protection is one of them. The problems that this product prevents are commonplace. They are not a waste of money.
Always remember, that like your automobile or your computer, gutters require routine maintenance to keep them functioning correctly.
If cleaning your gutter is not something you want to bother with, we recommend a gutter protection system as a practical alternative that will greatly minimize maintenance requirements.
Alternatively, you can do the work yourself. It is not difficult, but it does require a ladder so you can do a visual inspection and find the reason for the blockage and if possible, correct it.
If it happens once, be extra careful to watch for signs. Sometimes it is as simple as the kind and proximity of certain types of trees that can cause a gutter to overflow. The cause is almost always blockage in the gutter, the elbows or the downspout.
Finally, let me mention one other common cause of blocked gutters: winter ice. Ice can form when you gutters are blocked and the water freezes in the gutter, but it can also form from insulation issues in your attic or roof. Water can melt because of heat escaping from the roof and quickly refreeze and back up as a result.
These and other problems are all fixable. The key is do not wait until the outside problem has become an inside problem. As soon as you spot something unusual, call your gutter professional. And just for the record, we all know how busy life can be and I want to remind you to make it a point to inspect your system regularly. Put it into your calendar to remind you. You will not see what you do not look for. Do not wait until the problem finds you.