Three Reasons For Overflowing Gutters

Overflowing gutters are a symptom that something is wrong and the system needs to be repaired or upgraded. Determining the cause of the overflow will help you make the right decision when it comes to solving the gutter problem.

1. Obstructions

The most common cause of overflowing gutters is obstructions. Sometimes the obstructions are obvious because they are in the gutter troughs themselves. Leaves, twigs, moss, and other debris block the trough and the water overflows. Cleaning the gutters out every spring and fall will solve these simple obstructions.

Obstructions can also occur inside the downspouts, which means the blockage will be out of sight. Anything that can clog a gutter trough can also clog a downspout, and once this occurs water can no longer flow out of the gutters and uneventfully to the ground. Downspouts need to be cleaned when the gutters are cleaned. You can also prevent obstructions in both gutters and downspouts by installing some sort of gutter guard over the top of your gutter troughs.

2. Slope

Gutters aren't installed perfectly level along your roof eaves. Instead, they slope gently toward the downspouts. On a short wall, the gutter may slope down to one spout. On longer walls, the gutter may be higher in the center of the wall and then the end slope toward opposite spouts.

Improperly installed gutters may not have sufficient slope to drain quickly to the downspout. Or, they may have too much of a slope and flow too fast, so that water overflows the gutter because the downspout can't handle the capacity flowing toward it. Both of these issues can be repaired by adjusting the gutter clips until the proper slope is obtained. Sometimes the fix is as simple as replacing a broken or missing clip.

3. Capacity

You may be surprised to learn that gutters come in different capacities. There are deeper and wider versions available for those homes where standard gutters tend to overflow even when the gutters are installed at the proper slope and kept free of obstructions.

Capacity can be an issue in certain climates; generally, those that receive lots of rain in short periods of time. Steeper roof slopes can also lead to capacity issues, since the water will flow more quickly into the gutter the steeper the slope. When this happens, standard sized gutters may not be able to handle the onslaught of water.

Contact a gutter repair service if your gutters are overflowing and you aren't sure why.