gutters overflowing red roof

The Ultimate Guide to Overflowing Gutters

Gutters play an essential role in your pipe system and protect your home from water damage. They direct rain, snowmelt, and debris away from your home, saving you long-term from serious issues like mould growth and pest infestations. For gutters to work effectively, however, they can't be allowed to overflow.

Overflowing gutters can cause a lot of damage that's expensive to fix. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent gutter overflow and ensure your gutters are always in working order. If you'd like to learn what causes gutters to overflow or how to stop gutters from overflowing, read our helpful guide below!

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What Causes Gutters to Overflow?

My gutters are overflowing? Why? This issue can be caused by several problems ranging from a lack of maintenance to intense weather conditions. Knowing what caused the gutters overflow is essential to figuring out how to fix it. Here is a short list of common causes of overflowing gutters and how to identify them:

  • Damaged gutters: If the connector, hanger, or downspout is damaged, you could end up with overflowing gutters. Typically, the more damaged the gutter, the more severe the overflow. Your gutters may be damaged if they're sagging down or pulling away from your home, which can happen over time due to prolonged water pressure.

  • Installation issue: Gutters that have been installed incorrectly may not function properly, leading to an overflow. Even minor errors can seriously negatively impact your gutters. Incorrect installations are hard to identify for non-professionals. Licensed plumbers, however, will quickly notice issues like incorrectly sized downspouts or a lack of splash guards.

  • Extreme weather: Under normal circumstances, a guttering system is able to handle a decent amount of water flowing through it - they are designed for this. However, in extreme weather conditions such as storms with heavy rain, large amounts of water can push a lot of debris through your gutters, causing blockages and overflow.

  • Clogged gutters: Your overflow could be caused by gutter clogs of twigs, leaves, and other debris. As they get worse, these clogs can reduce the effectiveness of your gutters until they're completely unable to redirect water. These clogs usually occur when gutters aren't being cleaned and maintained properly.

  • Soakwell Full: If your gutters are connected to a soakwell system these may be full of debris, sand and/or leaf matter, resulting in nowhere for the water to escape to and then back up to the gutters. This would require liquid waste disposal services to resolve.

Problems Caused by Overflowing Gutters

Without gutters, your lawn, walls, and foundation are much more vulnerable to water damage. Water damage can cause a wide range of expensive and potentially serious damages. If you need some inspiration to start taking care of your rain gutters, here are some of the common problems caused by overflowing gutters:

  • Foundation damage to the building - especially if water is left pooling underneath the gutter

  • Structural problems, including damage to roof tiles

  • Stagnant water causing roof damage
  • Pest infestations that thrive in wet environments

  • Siding discolouration

  • Mould growth in overly wet areas

  • Rot and warping

  • Property flooding

How To Prevent Overflowing Gutters

Gutters can't clean and maintain themselves. If you want to stop gutter overflow and have them working properly 24/7, you'll need to take care of them yourself or hire a professional. 

Thankfully, gutters aren't too complex or difficult to maintain if they only require general maintenance. If you plan on maintaining your gutters on your own, here are a few ways you can restore your overflowing gutter system.

Keep Your Gutters Clear by Cleaning Biannually

The best and simplest way to prevent your gutters from overflowing is to keep them clean and well-maintained. A clean and healthy gutter is a properly functioning gutter, after all!

Gutter cleaning should be performed twice a year in order to prevent clogs and give you the opportunity to find damages in need of repairs. It also helps prevent water accumulation by ensuring water flows efficiently from your roof to gutters to downpipes, preventing stagnant water that can lead to mould, mildew, and structural damage.

Though you can pass this job onto a professional, you can also clean your gutters yourself with gloves, a ladder, and a face mask to protect you from the odour.

overflowing gutters with a grey roof

Ensure Your Gutters Are Positioned Properly

If the pitch of your gutters is incorrect, you're much more likely to have overflowing gutters. Gutters need to be positioned a certain way to work properly, as even a tilt in the wrong direction could create overflow and attract pests.

Install a Gutter Guard or Splash Guards

Once installed, splash gutter guards can help control the flow of rainwater in a home. You could also invest in a quality gutter guard solution. A gutter guard is a useful protection system that helps keep gutters clog-free - a gutter helmet is a type of guard. If you don't know how to install it either, consider calling an expert plumber to take care of the job for you.

Conduct Regular Inspections

Your roof should be inspected once a year by a certified professional, who can tell you if there are any leaks or if your roof has sustained any damage. You can also have your roof and gutters inspected by a licensed plumber. Both can tell you if your gutters are working properly and identify problems. If you're doing your own inspections, make sure you don't overlook any part of your gutters.

Don’t Neglect Repairs

If you've opted to do your own inspections, you'll also need to ensure that repairs are done right away. Even seemingly small problems can worsen and cause severe overflow. Repairs you may across that should be taken care of quickly include: 

  • Loose connectors

  • Damaged downpipes

  • Hanging fasteners

  • Missing sealant

  • Cracks and warping

Completing repairs like tightening spikes and replacing sealant are things you can learn to do at home. Still, there's nothing wrong with calling in a professional, especially for major issues.

Maintaining your entire gutter system isn't especially difficult, but there can be issues that require a specialist. If you can't determine what's wrong with your gutters or don't feel comfortable fixing the problem yourself, there are lots of great experts out there that can assist you.

Get Professional Help With Your Pipes From Tunnel Vision

Regardless of the issue you face relating to pipes and plumbing, you don't have to deal with the problem on your own. Tunnel Vision has a team of licensed plumbers available 24/7 around Perth to help you. 

Since our founding 20+ years ago, homeowners and business owners have trusted our team of specialists to tackle their buildings' plumbing and drainage problems — no matter how simple or complicated they may seem. If you'd like our help or have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us by calling 1800 631 799.

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