When you notice your roof is leaking near the gutters, it’s important to understand why it’s happening and have the issue fixed as soon as possible.
Whether caused by natural wear and tear, extreme weather events, or neglect, leaks in the roof are inevitable. However, such leaks can work their way to other areas of your home, where they can cause decay, rot, and severe structural damage. Prompt repair is the best way to extend your roof’s lifespan and improve its performance.
Here are the 5 Most Common Causes of Roof Leaks Near the Gutters
1. Holes and Cracks
Regardless of the material used to make gutters, harsh weather conditions and other damaging factors can cause holes and cracks in your system. Cracks and holes will prevent proper water drainage, causing damaging leaks.
These cracks and holes will manifest in minor leaks that become bigger over time. Left unattended for too long, the leaks will cause severe water damage in your home.
Have a professional inspect your roof and gutters for damage. Applying a waterproof sealant can fix small holes and developing cracks. Consider replacing the entire gutter section if the cracks or holes are more extensive or more widespread.
2. Clogs in Gutters
Clogged gutters and/or downspouts are a common cause of roof leaks, especially if you live in an area heavily populated with trees.
Leaves, twigs, pine needles, branches, dirt, and other debris can quickly accumulate in your gutters, obstructing the flow of rainwater. Water will pool in the gutter trough and spill over the roof edge.
It can also pool in some areas of the roof and have more of an opportunity to find its way into your attic through cracks and openings in the roof covering. This moisture can lead to issues like mold growth, wood warping, and insulation damage.
The weight of water and debris can cause the gutters to pull away from the roof, causing damage to the fascia.
If your gutters are full of soggy leaves and debris, it’s time to call in the experts for thorough cleaning. It’s also important to have your gutters professionally cleaned at least two times a year, typically in the fall and late spring.
3. Loose Fasteners
Roof leaks near the gutters are also traced back to loose fasteners. During installation, gutters are fixed to fascia boards using screws, nails, and hangers driven straight from the gutter into the fascia boards. However, they rust or become loose over time due to the weight of water and exposure to temperature extremes.
Small leaks start developing around the loose fasteners, resulting in water seepage from the rear side of the gutter directly into the fascia boards. If left unchecked, extensive leaks may cause rotting of fascia boards, preventing water from getting through them. With time, you may have to replace the fascia boards along with the gutter re-hung.
Ensuring your gutter fasteners are secure will help prevent roof leaks and subsequent damage. A roofing contractor can check your gutter fasteners, tightening or replacing them as needed.
4. Improper Pitch
Your gutters should be installed at a slight incline to allow the water to flow easily through the trough towards the downspouts. Poor installation or wrong positioning of the gutter can lead to water leakage between the gutter and fascia.
An improper pitch will allow debris to build up quickly in the gutter, slowing down water flow toward the downspouts. Having too much of a slope (more than a 1/4 inch drop in the direction of the downspout) means water can pour over the sides of the gutter troughs instead of through them.
Also, the gutters might begin to sag over time due to the water’s weight, debris accumulation, wear and tear, or loss of fasteners.
An improper slope may cause the water to collect on one side of the gutter, causing roof leaks and damage. A local roofing contractor can fix improper gutter pitch and repair your roof leaks. This may involve re-hanging a few sagging sections or the entire gutter system.
5. Separated Joints
If the joints between your sectional gutters were improperly sealed during installation or have begun separating over time, they could cause your roof to leak near the gutters.
In some cases, you could inspect your gutters and see separate areas, while in other cases, you may have to pour in some water to notice the problem.
Have a professional roofer fix the gutter problem and repair the leaks. They can remove and replace the old sealant, which has lost its watertight properties. In some cases, however, you may need to replace the entire joint.
This may be the right time to switch to seamless gutters made from one piece of metal and flow continuously without joints and seams. They are custom-cut on-site to fit the fascia and soffit of your home perfectly.
If your roof leaks near the gutters, contact Quantum Roofing today. Our experienced roofer can inspect your roof and gutters and fix any issues right away to prevent further damage. We work with homeowners in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.