Help! Chronic gutter overflow problem!

Old 06-25-04, 07:37 PM
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Help! Chronic gutter overflow problem!

I had my old gutters replaced 6 years ago with seamless gutters, thinking that they would be better and less prone to leakage. These gutters have been horrible since they were installed.

The house is a 34' wide cape cod with a garage slapped onto one side of the house as an afterthought. In the front there is one long gutter with a leader at each end. The leader on the garage side empties out into the garage gutter; the other side empties to the ground. The garage gutter empties into a drainpipe which runs alongside the house and empties out about 4' from the garage.

During very heavy rain, the front gutter on the garage side always overflows the end of the gutter, splashes onto rocks and soil underneath, which washes soil into the drain, which runs the width of the one-car garage, so the drain gets clogged and I'm losing topsoil like crazy.

The back has a dormer. The dormer gutter has a leader on one side only. The other side empties onto the main roof, and down into the main gutter on the house. This main gutter has leaders at both ends. In very heavy rain, the dormer gutter backs up on the leader side.

Both of these problem spots involve overflows BEHIND THE GUTTER. The fascia boards are wrapped with aluminum.

There are no gutter guards or screens because the service that cleans the gutters says that they don't work well and make the gutters harder to clean.

I have a number of oak and other trees, and have the gutters cleaned 4x/year. And still this happens.

I have had the gutter cleaning company, which also does installations, come out to see what can be done. They have put in a new leader in the front which empties the water parallel into the gutter instead of dumping it in, and a similar configuration onto the back dormer leader. And still, every time we get very heavy rain, they overflow.

I am at my wits end with these things. I am talking to contractors about having roofing and siding done, and will replace the gutters as part of it.

1) Should I insist on having leaders on both ends of the dormer gutter?

2) Does the fact that it's a cape cod with a steeply pitched roof exacerbate the problem? Should I have larger gutters installed?

3) Do the surface-tension style of gutter helmets work? I've heard that they only work for a year or so. The last thing I need is to spend thousands of dollars on "never clean your gutters again" gimmicks that just cause ALL the water to spill over.

4) Why are they overflowing BEHIND the gutter? Should the gutters be tilted OUTWARDS?

Help! What can I do until I can line up a contractor to do all this work?
Old 06-26-04, 09:06 AM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
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You have to see a job or a print to say for sure what you need.
C heck the gutters for pitch put a level on it. sounds like you dont have enough down spouts where you need them. 5" gutter and 3 " spouts are just fine for a home. You sure that the down spouts and any drain tile are all clean???. look at a 5" OG gutter the back is higher than the front. So how can the water get over the back first ?????

Old 06-28-04, 12:12 PM
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Gutter Helmet or Gutter Topper,I,m leary of these products but I,ve actually heard they work.The best solution is a six inch gutter with a 4 x 5 pipe or at least 3 x 4.You can always put a laef catcher on it so your drainds don,t get clogged.
Any water running between your fascia and rear of gutter is usually because your shingles are short.

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