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How to Keep Your Rain Gutters Flowing Freely: Causes of Clogging and Preventative Measures

One of the most bothersome problems homeowners deal with is overflowing gutters, whether it’s a gradual leak or unexpected downpour that results in the gutters filling up, overflow has the potential to damage a home’s exterior siding, foundation, and landscaping. However, with comprehension of common triggers and straightforward prevention strategies, you can keep your gutters flowing freely all year long.

Amassed debris is commonly the prime perpetrator leading to blocked rain gutters and overflowing. Fallen leaves, pine needles, small branches – all sorts of debris collects in gutters if not cleaned out on a regular basis. Fortunately, debris is also the easiest problem to address – it just requires climbing a ladder or employing an extending tool to extract debris blocking the downspout openings. Aiming to clear rain gutters at minimum twice yearly, more often if surrounding trees are plentiful, can preclude debris from accumulating and inducing clogs. View here for more info on this product.

Ice dams are an additional major source of overflow, especially in colder regions. When snow covering a roof melts during daylight hours and refreezes at night, it can form an icy wall along the roofline. This ice dam obstructs water from draining through gutters normally. Instead, water backs up beneath roof shingles and leaks into the residence. The best preventative measure involves ensuring warm air isn’t escaping and thawing snow on the roof’s edge. Checking attic insulation and ventilation, as well as using heated roof rakes to dissolve ice dams from above, can circumvent this problem.

Gradient and pitch are critical for proper drainage, yet many aging homes have rain gutters installed incorrectly. Over time, gutters can sag or lose pitch so water fails to flow to downspouts properly. Utilizing a level to check slope, and realigning any sections not angled at minimum 1/4 inch per foot directing toward the downspout, is important. Ensuring downspouts extend several feet away from the foundation is also key to precluding overflow. You can read more on the subject here!

Clogs in the downspout itself can entrap water up high in the gutter. Checking for debris or partial clogs in downspout openings and the downspout tube, and clearing any obstructions, allows free-flowing drainage from gutters all the way to the ground. While inspecting, also examine downspouts for damage like dents or crushed areas that could slow water release. Replacing downspouts if needed maximizes flow.

By understanding prevalent causes such as debris, ice dams, unsuitable slope, and downspout clogs, precautionary measures can be implemented to sustain clear-flowing gutters. With some seasonal upkeep including debris extraction and ice dam examination in addition to validating proper installation, homeowners can remain dry even when precipitation is intense. This page has all the info you need.

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