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Top Reasons Why Gutters Leak

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

If your gutters leak, they could be causing damage to your home. The list of problems can be extensive, from stained siding to foundation issues. Here’s what you need to know about gutter leaks and when to have your gutters replaced.

Gutters are Important

Gutters may seem somewhat insignificant, but they play a large role in preventing water intrusion into your home and limiting foundation erosion. Gutters take the rainwater runoff from the roof and disperse it through downspouts, safely away from the home’s foundation. This prevents water buildup around the home’s foundation and minimizes the risk of water intrusion.

A&M Roofing crew performing a gutter installation

Gutter Leaks Cause Problems

Leaky gutters can be quite problematic. When your gutters leak, water can pool around the foundation. This can lead to water in your basement, damage to the home, mold growth, and soil erosion around the foundation. Therefore, gutter leaks need to be inspected and repaired as soon as possible. But what causes gutter leaks?

1- Clogged Gutters

The most logical reason for a leak is that your gutters are clogged. Leaves, twigs, and other debris can become clogged in your gutter system. This excess weight can cause the gutter to sag in areas as well as cause it to separate from the fascia. When this happens, the water doesn’t drip into the gutter properly. Instead, it spills down the side of the home and onto the foundation below it.

While the gutter itself isn’t technically leaking, the leak still causes many problems. To prevent this situation, it is recommended that you clean your gutters at least twice a year. Additionally, the installation of gutter guards such as Leaf Relief can prevent clogs, eliminating the need for frequent maintenance and protecting your home.

2- Old Gutters

According to the National Association of Homebuilders, the typical gutter system lasts around 20 years. So, if your gutters are nearing that age and have started leaking, it could just be that they have reached the end of their lifetime. In this case, a full gutter replacement is probably your best option.

3- Bad Joints

Gutters are made up of a system of pieces that work together to funnel the water away from your home. These pieces are connected with joints, and over time, the joints can leak. This can happen a lot in the winter if there are large clogs, which lead to stagnant water freezing in the gutter. These ice dams can cause leaks in the joints and the gutter itself. Sometimes, leaks around the gutter joint can be fixed with simple caulking, but severe leaks may require a replacement.

4- Improper Installation

If your gutters leak during heavy rainfall but not during light or moderate rainfall, then there is a good chance that your gutters were improperly installed.

Gutters need to be hung in a way that angles towards a downspout to disperse the water safely. If the gutters are not pitched correctly during installation, they will not drain properly. While this may not be an issue during light rainfall, it will be very noticeable during heavy rainfall.

5-Hardware Malfunction & Gutter Leaks

During installation, gutters are attached to the home via hardware pieces called hangers. Over time, these hangers may become loose, causing the gutters to separate from the home fascia. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Hangers can deteriorate over time, or they may have been improperly spaced during installation. Another reason hangers may loosen is due to excess weight in the gutters, like clogs and debris.

Best Leaky Gutter Repair and Replacement in Northern Virginia

It can be tricky to figure out exactly why your gutter leaks, but if you have a leaky gutter system, it's important to repair it as soon as possible. Leaks can cause all sorts of problems with your home. To learn more about the causes of gutter leaks and how to correct them, contact A&M Roofing, one of the best gutter companies in Northern Virginia, and request a free estimate!


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