With spring in full bloom, people across the nation have begun to experience torrential downpours and all-day soaking rains that really test their gutters’ mettle. If it’s been a while since you’ve inspected your gutters for sagging, now is the perfect time to do so – and follow a few simple tips in the process. Below, you’ll learn more about sagging gutters, what causes them, and what you can do to determine the best course of action.
What Makes Gutters Sag?
Though sagging gutters are far more common in the wintertime, they can occur during the spring months, too, under the weight of excessive rainfall. A sagging gutter is usually the result of a disproportionate weight in one part of the system. For example, if water freezes around debris in the winter, the resulting ice does not move, and the excessive weight puts a strain on that section of the system. Once the gutter begins to sag, water can pool there in the spring. This not only leads to mold and mildew, but it also stops your gutters from functioning properly and provides the perfect breeding spot for mosquito larvae.
The Issue with Gutter Hangers
Gutter hangers are accessories that attach your gutters to your home. Depending on your home’s architecture, these hangers may be located along the edges of your roof, the fascia, or even the side of your home’s outside walls. For the most part, when they are spaced properly and when gutters are cleaned and maintained as recommended, gutter hangers can last for decades without issue. When things go wrong, these gutter hangers are put under more strain than they were developed to handle, which can cause some serious issues.
As the weight of your gutter system pulls on the hanger, the hanger pulls on the part of your home where it has been installed. To put this into perspective, if the hanger is anchored on the fascia – the longboard running just under the lower edge of the roof – and the gutter system becomes too heavy, that hanger will start to pull out of the fascia. This causes significant sagging in the area with the loose hanger, and it may even cause the hanger to pull completely free from your home. Sometimes, it seriously damages the fascia in the process. This can also happen in other installations, such as when the hangers are installed directly at the edge of the roof or into the wall.
How to Prevent and Fix Sagging
The best way to prevent sagging gutters is to keep your gutter system clean and well-maintained at all times, and many homeowners have found that they can make cleaning and maintenance much simpler by installing a gutter guard. This is an accessory that is designed to allow water to enter your gutter system while keeping debris out, and most homeowners find that they are well worth the initial investment. You should also be sure to inspect your gutters at least twice each year and after every severe weather/high wind event. Pay careful attention to the hangers and their position relative to the fascia, roof, or wall, and call for repairs immediately if you notice anything amiss.
Sagging gutters can be seriously problematic for homeowners. They can pull hangers away from homes and leave plenty of expensive destruction in their wake, prevent rainwater from traveling through the system properly, and even provide a spawning ground for mosquitos. Be sure that you take the time each spring and fall (and more frequently, if needed) to look for sagging gutters. The more quickly you repair the problem, the less damage it will cause.