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You’ve likely already seen snow and ice accumulating in your gutters this winter. Or perhaps you just cleaned seamless gutters after years of neglect and noticed they aren’t quite aligned. Before spring, you should ensure they’re properly attached to your home and realign them. Ensuring that your gutters are functioning as they should before heavy rains arrive will help prevent issues in the warmer months.

Realign Gutters

Why Gutter Alignment Matters

Gutters are installed so that water will run toward the downspout. That means there is a slight slope to them – just enough to direct the water toward the downspout. Too much slope and the water can rush too quickly down the downspouts, potentially causing erosion with even a moderate rainfall.

How to Check a Gutter’s Slope

To check the slope of your gutters, you’ll need a ladder tall enough to safely get to your gutter and a one-gallon bucket of water. Go to the side of the gutter farthest from the downspout and pour the water in. It should run at a consistent speed down the gutter to the downspout. If you notice the water slows or pools along the run, you likely have an alignment problem at that place. It may take several gallons of water to determine the location of the issue.

How to Fix Sags

If you have sagging gutters or they aren’t properly sloped, check the brackets that attach the gutter to your home. You may need a screwdriver to tighten them, which may help get the gutters back into alignment. If they are bent out of shape, carefully apply pressure to bend them back. Try the water test again to see if the problem is solved.

It’s more common for sectional gutters to have issues with sagging than seamless gutters. The seams are a natural fail point, especially when subjected to pressure from wind, excess debris or ice dams. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to call a gutter company to replace your gutters.

Better Prevention of Gutter Problems

Ideally you want to prevent damage to your gutters. One of the easiest ways is to work with gutter guard installers who can recommend a proven gutter protection system. This will keep debris from weighing down your gutters and prevent stress that causes damage. If gutter damage was caused by ice dams, talk to your installers about Helmet Heat®, the heated gutter guard solution from Gutter Helmet® that helps reduce ice dam formation. Your Gutter Helmet installer can replace old gutters with new seamless gutters too. Call (800) 824-3772 to be connected to your local gutter guard installer and ask about new gutters, gutter covers and Helmet Heat.