How to Fix an Overflowing Gutter
Guttering is an essential element of any building. Tasked with the responsibility of safely managing and guiding rainwater away from your home’s foundations, gutters are vital for maintaining structural stability - preventing leaks and water damage.
So, what happens when your gutters start to overflow? If you’ve noticed puddles of water beneath your roof eaves or perhaps even discoloured water staining the side of your property, then you may be faced with the issue of overflowing guttering. Whilst this may seem like a minor issue best left to another time, an overflowed gutter can do some major harm, both to your home and the surrounding ground. Don’t leave it until it's too late, act now.
Why Are My Gutters Overflowing?
Upon carefully inspecting your guttering system, you have identified an overflowing issue. But what is the root cause of the problem? And how can you prevent it from happening again in the future? Let’s explore a little further into what may be causing havoc in your gutters.
The first and often most common culprit of an overflowing gutter is clogging. Gutters can become blocked or clogged with anything from leaves, dirt, sticks and small tree branches to shingle granules, wildlife leavings and even plastic bags. The most effective way of preventing clogged gutters is to clean them on a regular basis – not just when you encounter an issue.
The general advice from experts is that gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year ideally – once in spring and once in autumn. The process of cleaning can be left to a professional, however with a ladder and the correct tools, you can get the job done yourself without needing to pay for labour. To get you on the right track, check out our handy guide full of helpful tips, advice, and a practical method for cleaning your gutters safely.
Incorrect Positioning or Installation
When it comes to the functionality of your guttering, pitch and tilt make an enormous difference. If your gutters are titled away from your property, this could be causing overflow, especially in very wet weather. The same is true if the pitch of the guttering is angled too steeply towards a downspout. Similarly, if the pitch is not steep enough, the water will gather in one spot instead of flowing safely to an exit as it should.
Even if all of the above is resolved, you may also find that your guttering is simply hanging too low. If this is the case, rainwater can run off your roof and overshoot your gutters – a good indication that they have been installed with an inadequate gap between the system and your property. In this case, a complete overhaul and re-install may be warranted.
Sometimes, overflow can be caused by guttering that is simply too small to handle the volume of rainwater flowing from the roof. If overflowing is a consistent issue that occurs every time it rains heavily, then you may just need to switch out your gutters to a better-suited size. Take a look through our guide to replacing gutters for more information on this topic and some helpful advice.
If your roof is steeply pitched, then rainwater may be travelling at such a speed that it simply splashes over the guttering. A practical way of tackling this issue is to install an L-shaped splash guard which is designed to prevent overrun in the event of a heavy downpour.
There are a variety of different splash guards available to buy which can be easily aligned and then fixed into place. You could even make your very own with the right materials and tools. Here’s a quick run-down of their installation, should this be the perfect fix for your gutters.
1. Purchase/Make the Splash Guard
As mentioned, splash guards can be purchased, or you can make your own if needed. To create your own, cut an appropriate piece of sheet metal using tin snips to fit the dimensions of your roof and guttering system. You can also spray paint the metal to match your existing gutters.
Next, wearing safety gloves, bend the sheet to create a 1-inch lip along the bottom that will be used to attach to the gutters. Then, bend the guard so that it sits at a 90° angle (this is the typical angle required for installing a guard to a roof valley, however, we suggest checking the angle before bending to be 100% sure).
2. Drill & Align
After safely climbing to the height of your gutters using a ladder, align your splash guard so that the lip is facing outwards towards you. Depending on the design of your guard, you may want to fit the lip on the inside. Align and drill holes through both the lip and into the gutter at the point at which your guttering requires overflow prevention.
3. Attach & Fix
Now, simply attach your splash guard using screws or rivets (follow manufacturer’s instructions for this). You may want to also add silicone caulking to enhance water flow protection.
4. Mesh Screens
Another option is to install mesh screens or gutter guard over your gutters which will catch leaves, sticks and other debris. The mesh material allows water to pass through whilst blocking anything else that may cause clogging. This also helps to make your job much quicker and easier when it comes to routine gutter cleaning.
On the Hunt for Guttering?
Is your current guttering causing more problems than it’s fixing? Maybe you’re in search of professional-quality gutters for an exciting new project? Or perhaps you just need a few replacement parts to get your existing system up to scratch?
Whatever guttering project you’re working on, you’ll find that our fantastic range of trade-standard, affordable guttering will help you get the job done right. Discover a wide selection of plastic and metal guttering, as well as a variety of accessories.
For help in finding the perfect guttering prods for your next job, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our award-winning customer service team. Give us a call on 01295 565565, email [email protected], or drop us a message in our handy live chat below.