Common Gutter Problems: An Introduction

What’s the number-one gutter problem in America? That’s easy, because it’s probably the number-one reason why you’ve come to this website for information. Simply stated, the problem is leaky gutters.

With leaking gutters, water is no longer being effectively drained away from the foundations of your home. Yet if you’re like most homeowners, the problem literally hits you on an emotional level—when you’re fumbling for the front door keys during a downpour and being doused by a steady sheet of overflowing rain.

Let’s say you’ve finally had enough and decided to do something your leaking gutters. But like most baby boomers who’ve decided to maintain their current homes, you’re not thrilled about climbing a ladder and getting up on the roof. Take a fall and, chances are, your back will never be the same again.

What do you do? In time you’ll probably call some gutter installers and get a few estimates. But for now it’s time to do some homework. For example, what causes common gutter problems? And what’s the best remedy for your particular situation?

Think of gutter problems in two basic categories: performance and appearance. In other words, you want to replace your gutters either because (1) they’re leaking or (2) they’ve become an eyesore—or both! Within each category, your problem could be due to one of several factors:

  • Gutters might be leaky because they were improperly designed or installed, have become worn or warped, or clogged with debris or ice.
  • Gutters might be unsightly because the metal has warped or the coating has faded or become chalky and gritty.

So let’s run down these common gutter problems one by one, starting with performance issues and then covering appearance problems:

Part 1: Gutter Installation

Part 2: Warped Gutters

Part 3: Clogged Gutters

Part 4: Ice Dams & Frozen Gutters

Part 5: Clean Gutters