Gutter Facts: How to Avoid Water Damage

I just had my gutters cleaned. Why do I still see the water running over my gutters?

There are several possibilities…

  • During the heaviest downpours it may be O.K. to have the gutters overfill briefly. It could just be the results of extreme weather.
  • Your downspouts could be clogged or blocked.
  • Your gutter could be improperly installed, undersized or inadequately graded to remove the water rapidly enough.
  • A Nick Rivers gutter expert can test your drainage speed and make recommendations.

Is there a hidden agenda here? I have had gutter contractors come out before that try to “upsell” me with very expensive roofing projects or gutter upgrades.

Absolutely not. Nick Rivers is strictly a gutter cleaning and maintenance firm. In fact, the gutter covers we recommend are quite inexpensive. We think most $3,000 gutter replacement projects are a waste—money better spent on a family vacation. Please, if you really want gutter covers, let us provide you with an excellent solution for less than half their price. Just send us a postcard from Hawaii.

I have gutter covers but my gutters seem to be clogged up. Is that normal?

Unfortunately, this is normal and expected. Despite claims, no gutter protection system that we know of is completely maintenance free. Some of the most expensive systems seem to be the most difficult to fix once a blockage occurs. Even if large leaves are kept out, smaller debris works its way in, eventually clogging your gutters and downspouts.

I see staining on my gutters and fascia. Does this suggest a problem?

Mold, water stains or discoloration of areas around gutters may indicate a need for cleaning or repair. These stains may be nothing or might be the sign of more serious problems—some leading to flooding and home damage.

My basement flooded. Can poor gutter drainage really be the cause?

It’s a good place to start since gutter drainage problems are the easiest to see and often the cheapest to solve. First inspect your gutter downspouts. Make certain that spouts drain well away from the foundation of your home. Also make sure that your yard is properly graded everywhere but especially around the downspouts so that water drains well away from your foundation.

Am I required to take the day off to be home while you do your gutter work?

No you are not required to be at home. We ask that you be available by phone in case questions or billing adjustments arise. It is often helpful if you provide day, evening, and mobile phone numbers.

How often should I have my gutters cleaned?

Generally, gutters should be cleaned twice a year. This depends, of course, on the amount of debris that accumulates. Gutter clogging debris doesn’t just fall in the Fall. Some trees (especial oaks) drop their dead leaves at first bud in early spring and varieties of evergreens shed throughout the year. The range of seasonal seeds, pollen, and assorted detritus vary greatly from year to year.

Can Clogged Gutters Really Damage My House?

Not always but a clogged gutter can certainly cause damage to your roof, fascia, foundation, and even your basement. Since we receive a lot of rain in Maryland it is important that we get moisture away from your house as much as possible.

We don’t think an occasionally overflowing gutter is worth losing sleep over. This can even be normal during an extreme downpour. But if this is a common occurrence or if you see signs of water damage anywhere in your home, it’s best to consult with an expert.