overflowing gutters in heavy rain

Help, My Gutters Are Overflowing!

Your roof does more than just keep water from getting in. It’s actually a big water catchment area to help direct water away from your home and your gutters are a big player in this.

So when you have overflowing gutters, you’ve got a problem.

While gutters overflowing in heavy rain isn’t unheard of, your gutters should be able to handle a good amount of rainwater. The Australian Building Codes Board has a calculator you can use to see if your overflow is acceptable or not.

Why are my gutters overflowing?

gutters blocked with leaves and debris

An overflowing gutter could be caused by a build up of debris such as leaves and dirt in your gutters or downpipes which blocks the flow of water. Corrosion and rust could have caused your gutters to leak as well, as opposed to overflowing.

Worse yet, your gutters might have been installed incorrectly, so they aren’t even capturing water in the first place!

Build Up of Debris

If you take a look in your gutters, you’ll find more than just water in there. Dirt, leaves and even parts of your roof tiles tend to collect in your gutters.

While a little debris is to be expected, too much can cause gutters and downpipes to overflow. They block the flow of water to the downpipe and drain, causing water to overflow from your gutters.

Rust and Corrosion

If you notice your gutter overflowing in one spot, it’s most likely a leak rather than overflowing. Rust, corrosion and cracks can be the cause of leaky gutters.

Improper Installation

Your gutters might have been installed incorrectly in the first place, causing them to overflow. There’s more to gutters than just attaching them to your roof’s fascia.

An experienced roofer will need to consider a range of factors for your gutters:

  • Size of gutters – too small and your gutters just won’t be able to keep up with the volume of rainwater
  • Pitch and tilt – too shallow a tilt and water won’t flow to the downpipe and will pool in one area; too steep and it will overflow
  • Roof tile overhang – if the overhang is too short or too long, water won’t even flow into your gutters in the first place

Any of these could be the cause of your overflowing gutters.

The Problem with Overflowing Gutters

bottom of downpipe

Overflowing gutters can pose a number of problems to your home.

Firstly there’s the water damage to the exterior of your house where the water overflows. Not only is this damage unsightly and reduces your home’s street appeal, but it can also have structural effects.

Heavy water damage can seriously impact your home’s structural integrity. The only fix will likely be costly and intrusive repairs.

A build of debris in your gutters and downpipes is a common cause of blocked stormwater drains. When this is blocked, water will back up and pool around your drain, rather than draining away.

Clogged gutters and puddles of stagnant water are also a cause for concern. This water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

How to Fix a Gutter that Overflows

gutter attached to downpipe

In the case of overflowing gutters, it’s almost always easier to prevent it than it is to repair the damage. Wipe off the cobwebs from your ladder, and get up there and check out the state of your gutter.

If you find a build up of debris and leaves, this is most likely the cause of your overflowing. It’s time to start cleaning this out.

To prevent an overflow, you need to schedule in gutter cleaning and maintenance once to twice a year. Whether that’s a job you can do yourself if you’re comfortable up on a ladder or a job you hire out, this is an important gutter maintenance step every homeowner should take.

If not debris, do you notice discolouration and bubbling paint on your gutter? This is likely rust under the paint. Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy issue to fix and will typically require you to replace that section of gutter.

If they’ve been installed incorrectly, well that’s a whole job for an experienced roofer to address. Here at Metropolitan, we can deal with all your roof plumbing needs.

Gutter cleaning, downpipe cut-ins, install gutter replacements – we do it all. No matter the causes of your overflowing gutter, Metropolitan can help.

Contact us today for a prompt and reliable roof plumbing service!


Published: 4 Mar, 2021

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