Clogged gutters are a headache and a nuisance. Climbing on your roof to clean up the mess and unclog the gutter and the downspout can be a tricky thing. Aside from it being a dirty job, it can also be a bit dangerous. Climbing on ladders or walking on a wet and damp roof isn’t the safest job in the world. If you dislike and would rather not do those things, it might be best to understand why these things clog and how to prevent those things from happening.
It’s not only the leaves and broken twigs that can clog your gutter, making the water spill over and run down your walls running your paint and reaching the basement. It’s not uncommon for it to become clogged for reasons you wouldn’t expect or assume. If it has been clogged more times this year than you would like, then it may be the time to look into it. Today, our goal is to help you understand what might be happening in your gutters that’s making your life difficult. If you’d like to know what’s going on, we suggest you stick around with us for a few more minutes as we go down our list of potential suspects that may be the reason for clogged pipes.
The gutter serves a single purpose – to collect and direct water towards the downspout away from the foundation of the house. In an ideal world, nothing but water would ever end up in a gutter and you’d live care-free. However, as we both know, that is rarely the case. To be fair, that’s never the case.
All kinds of debris get collected there. Leaves, twigs, rocks, dirt from the roof, and more get stuck in it more often than not. In that case, if your downspout is too tight or badly placed, it’s rather easy for your gutter to get clogged and start overflowing doing all kinds of damage. What happens is, the water carries the debris into an opening of the downspout where it gets stuck, stopping the free flow.
Most of the downspouts are 5×8 centimeters wide. That is way too tight for anything other than water to go through. Sure, a couple of leaves may slip through, but more than a handful will cause some problems. So, instead of going for the usual diameter, it might be better to choose an 8x10cm wide downspout. That should leave more than enough space for debris to go through easily.
Not Enough Downspouts
Placing the gutter in the right place is essential for good, uninterrupted water flow. Another thing people usually do is settle for a single downspout, which is often not enough. It all depends on the size of the house. A single downspout should be enough for about 40 square meters of the roof, meaning the average house should at least have two or three downspouts.
The roof design should also be a factor when it comes to placing gutters and positioning the downspout.
If the problem isn’t with the downspout per se, meaning it’s wide enough and you have enough of them, then the problem may be in gutters which are of a low quality. So, if you’ve called gutterspecialists to do the clean-up more times than you’d like to, it may be a time for a change or a repair. When choosing the new gutters, make sure it’s aluminum so you won’t have to worry about rust and breaking.
Not Having A Gutter Guard
It goes without saying – a gutter without the guard is going to get clogged. It’s always best to prevent things from happening than to deal with them once they do. The same thing applies here. Things will get inside, that’s a guarantee. So, if you don’t want it to clog – protect it.
The absolute best way to stop clogging is to install a guard. If you can’t do it yourself, there are professionals that can. Trust us, having a gutter guard will make your life so much easier. There a few options out there, such as screens and fine mesh guards, all of them designed with a single purpose in mind – keeping anything but water away from them. So, if you don’t already have one and clogs are causing you a headache – go and get one. You certainly won’t regret it, on the contrary, you’ll celebrate.
Not a Proper Maintenance
As it is often the case, negligence is the cause of many issues and problems and the same rules apply here. If you never clean the gutter or the roof, the clog is bound to happen, there’s no way around it. Even if you have a wide, properly positioned downspout and a guard you can still encounter issues. For example, what good is a guard if it’s covered in leaves and not a drop of water can pass through it?
If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can always hire a professional crew to maintain your gutters. They’ll clean it up, inspect it for any damage and inform you if there are any repairs that need to be done. If you clean them and maintain them properly, they are bound to serve you, clog-free for a very long time.
One of the worst foes is the snow. What happens during snowstorms or just persistent snowing is snow gets stuck in the gutter and on the roof and it freezes. Considering that your house is being heated, the roof gets just warm enough to melt the bottom layer of the snow on the roof and that water spills into the gutter where it freezes. Aside from safety hazard in form of hanging icicles, frozen snow can create a blockage so that the water doesn’t overflow, but instead gets stuck on the roof and possibly enters your home.
There many more reasons behind the clogs in your gutter. From bird’s nests to children’s toys that somehow ended up on the roof – anything can be a cause for a clog. That’s why regular maintenance and cleaning are your best friends.