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A missing downspout

Why Are My Gutters Leaking?

Don’t stress about your gutters any longer. Learn why they’re leaking and learn how you can stop the damage from getting worse.

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Gutters play a crucial role in safeguarding our homes from water damage by channeling rainwater away from the roof and foundation.

However, it’s not uncommon for gutters to develop leaks over time, compromising their effectiveness.

Understanding why gutters leak is essential for homeowners to act quickly to prevent potential water-related issues.

In this article, we will explore the common causes of gutter leaks and discuss practical solutions to ensure your gutters remain leak-free, protecting your home for years to come.

What Causes Gutters to Leak or Break? 


Clogs are the most common reason why gutters leak and ultimately acquire damage over a long period of time. As debris like leaves, twigs, pest droppings, mud, and even bird nests build up in your gutter end caps, elbows and downspouts, it traps water in the higher sections of your gutter.  

Experts recommend all homeowners clean out their gutters at least twice a year, preferably in the fall and spring. You’ll have to do this more often if you have trees towering over your roof, vines running along the side, or even extra tall bushes parallel to your gutters.  

Rust or Corrosion 

rusty gutter

Gutters are typically made from aluminum which is said to be a rust-proof material. However, with poor or no maintenance over a long period of time, you may start to notice the orange substance form on your gutters. This can spur from water being left in your gutters for too long, acidic pollen buildup, extreme temperature changes, and more.  

As corrosion eats away at the vulnerable areas in your gutters, holes will begin to form causing water to trickle down the side of your home, fascia board, and soffits, causing water damage to the rest of your home. 

Your Gutters Weren’t Fit Properly 

When you have gutters installed on your home, they should be tailor-fit to your home’s unique size and structure. When this isn’t the case, you may easily notice leaking or overflowing of your gutters during a rainstorm. Rust and corrosion can build up easier, along with debris from your yard.  

In addition to not having the right sized gutters, not having the right gutter pitch can spell trouble for your gutter system. It’s a rule of thumb for your gutters to be slightly sloped a half inch for every ten feet. When your gutters aren’t pitched enough, you’ll run into excessive clogging.  

Pest Infestation 

Do you occasionally hear a bump in the night coming from your roof? Or how about an uptick in flying, stinging bugs around your home’s entrances? Your clogged gutters could be attracting pests like mice, rats, wasps, birds, and even chipmunks. These animals are attracted to the dank environment festering in your gutters and view it as a safe place to take shelter.  

Not only can this lead to chewing through your gutters, but also these animals may begin to damage your fascia and even infiltrate your roof.  

ice dams forming in front of window

Ice Dams 

As a Michigander, you’re all too familiar with twinkling icicles forming off your gutters after a cold night. However, this is a huge red flag for your roof, basement, and gutters. When ice and snow build up on your roof, the lower layers will melt as your roof warms up. Snowmelt trickles down your roof and refreeze as it reaches your gutters, creating an ice dam.  

Ice dams will weigh down your gutter system, either by breaking off part of your gutter or ripping the seam.  

Undersized Gutters

When gutters are too small to handle heavy rainfall or water flow, they can quickly become overwhelmed, leading to water overflow. This can result in foundation issues, basement flooding, landscape erosion, and damage to the exterior of your home, since water is being dumped directly next to your foundation.

Rotten Wood

As the wood deteriorates, it loses its structural integrity, creating gaps and cracks where the gutter system is attached. These compromised areas allow water to seep through, leading to leaks and potential water damage to the surrounding areas of your home.

Gutter Sagging

When gutters sag, water may accumulate and pool in certain areas, causing excess weight and putting stress on the gutter system. Over time, this can lead to separation between gutter sections or joints, resulting in leaks and compromised functionality. Proper installation and regular maintenance of gutters are crucial to prevent sagging.

Gutter Maintenance Is Key for your Home 

To make sure that your car lasts for a long time, you take it to the shop regularly for inspections and tune-ups. The same should go for your gutters. Optimizing your gutters so they are in tip-top shape can save you from having to replace them in the future and can save you from damage to your roof and foundation.  

The AquaGuard Gutter Solution

Say goodbye to the hassle of dealing with clogged and damaged gutters, as well as the risks of climbing ladders to clean them. With our durable and clog-free solution, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with low-maintenance gutters from FSM.

At FSM, we offer homeowners the AquaGuard Gutter Solution, a cutting-edge gutter system designed to enhance water management.

Here’s what sets our system apart:

  • All-in-one design combining a gutter trough and gutter topper
  • Utilizes liquid adhesion technology for superior performance
  • Angled slats maximize water collection efficiency
  • Wide-mouth outlet facilitates quick water drainage
  • Removable end cap for effortless cleaning and maintenance

Regular Inspections 

While our new system cuts maintenance concerns way down, we still recommend regular inspections. When you suspect gutter issues, it’s better for you and your home in the long run to catch these issues as soon as you can to prevent worsened damage and more costly repair. At FSM, we’re happy to provide you with free inspections of not only your gutters, but your foundation, too.  

Foundation Systems of Michigan Is Your Gutter Guide  

At Foundation Systems of Michigan, we understand the anatomy of your whole home. So, when you’re dealing with gutter issues, we’ll give you a comprehensive solution that will improve your entire gutter system. With an array of colors to choose from and financing options that can help you fit your budget, we have gutter solutions for every homeowner.  

Reach out to FSM for a completely free inspection, and an upfront, no-obligation quote for your repairs. Getting started is easy. Call us now or fill out this form today.  

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