A storm with strong winds can do a lot of damage to the gutters on your home. You may even go outside when the storm has passed to find a gutter trough twisted and dangling from the roof. Other times, damage isn't quite so obvious, but repairs must still be done or water won't drain away from your home properly. Here's how to spot damage to your residential gutters and your options for repairs.
Check For Dents
While dents may not affect the way your gutters function, they do indicate something hit the troughs fairly hard. The blow may have moved the gutters enough to alter the slope or knock a trough loose. Hail can cause dents during a storm and flying debris can also cause dents that signal a closer look at your gutter system is needed. One way to tell if the position of the gutters has been altered is to pour water into the troughs from a garden hose. If the water pools in the trough or leaks over the side rather than flow quickly to the downspout, then you'll need to have your gutters repaired. This might require adjusting the slope of the troughs and securing them in place.
Look Inside For Debris
A prolonged storm with sustained winds will knock a lot of debris out of trees and cause little twigs and leaves to fly through the air. This debris can clog your troughs and cause the gutters to overflow. You know to watch for excess debris in your gutters in the fall when trees shed leaves, but you may not realize your gutters are filling up when a storm hits in the spring. It doesn't take a lot of debris to cause trouble. A few tangled twigs can create a dam that holds onto leaves and keeps water from flowing through. If you see a lot of tree litter in your yard or on your roof after a storm, it's a good idea to check your gutters to see if they need cleaned out.
Inspect The Troughs And Downspout For Damage
Twisted, loose, and missing sections of gutters need to be replaced as soon as possible. Be sure to check the downspout too because it might twist toward your home or part of the spout might be missing. If your gutters received damage from a storm, you should have them inspected by a professional. Repairs might be possible if small sections were damaged. However, you might need a new gutter system. If you need new gutters, it's a good time to consider upgrading to seamless gutters with leaf guards. While they may not be any safer during a bad storm, seamless gutters with guards will make your annual gutter maintenance an easier job.
If you don't think your gutter damage was bad enough to require repairs, then watch your gutters during the next few rainfalls. Make sure no water puddles form around your foundation and check that water rushes out of the downspout and away from your home when it's raining.