After the Storm: Assessing and Repairing Damaged Gutters

After the Storm: Assessing and Repairing Damaged Gutters

Severe weather can wreak havoc on a home's exterior, with gutters often bearing the brunt of the storm. But when your gutters are damaged, problems can quickly arise. Learning to assess and repair your gutters promptly after a storm in the Pacific Northwest can save you from bigger headaches down the road. 

Storm Types and Common Gutter Problems

In Oregon and Washington, homeowners are no strangers to the varying types of storms that can wreak havoc on their homes' gutter systems. Understanding these storms' nature and potential impacts is important for effective home care and maintenance. 

Heavy rainfalls

A sagging gutter during heavy rainfalls in the Pacific Northwest.

Common throughout the year, particularly during the fall and spring months, heavy rainfalls can pose significant challenges to your gutter system. 

  • Water overflow: When rainwater accumulates faster than the gutters can drain it away, this can lead to overflow. Overflowing gutters can result in water damage to your home's siding, foundation, and landscaping.
  • Water damage: Sustained heavy rainfall can exacerbate existing minor issues with your gutters, such as small leaks or cracks, leading to more extensive damage over time.


Windstorm damage to a gutter on a home in Oregon or Washington.

Windstorms, often accompanied by heavy rains, are another weather phenomenon common to the Pacific Northwest. These storms can cause a variety of problems for your gutters. 

  • Sagging or detachment: High winds can dislodge gutters from their fastenings, causing them to sag or detach entirely. 
  • Clogging: Windstorms often bring lots of debris, such as leaves and small branches, that can clog your gutters and downspouts. This will impede their ability to effectively drain water away from your home

Snow and ice storms

A sagging gutter damaged by snow and ice storm in Pacific Northwest.

During the winter months, snow and ice storms present unique challenges. 

  • Sagging: The accumulation of snow and ice can add significant weight to your gutters, potentially causing them to sag or pull away from your home. 
  • Ice dams: Ice damming is when melted snow refreezes at the edge of your roof. This can obstruct your gutters leading to water seeping into your home and causing damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.

DIY Solutions for Minor Gutter Issues

A person holding a small screwdriver tightening a screw on a gutter fastner.

While some gutter problems require professional intervention, there are minor issues that you can address yourself. 

The following DIY solutions can help you maintain your gutter system and prevent small problems from turning into more serious damage.

Fixing sagging gutters

Sagging gutters can often be fixed by tightening or replacing the gutter hangers. 

  • Start by identifying the sagging sections of your gutter. 
  • You can then either tighten the screws on the existing hangers or replace them with new ones. 
  • For added reinforcement, consider adding extra hangers to distribute weight evenly and prevent future sagging.

Repairing leaking gutters

For small holes or leaks, a tube of roofing cement might be all you need. Clean the area around the hole, apply the cement, and smooth it out. 

For larger holes, you may need a metal patch. Apply roofing cement around the hole, place the patch over it, and cover the patch with more cement. Make sure all edges are sealed to prevent further leakage.

Clearing clogs and blockages

Regular cleaning is the best way to prevent clogs and blockages in your gutters. Aim to clean your gutters at least twice a year, or more frequently if you have overhanging trees. Use a ladder, wear gloves, and scoop out the debris. A garden hose can help you flush out smaller particles. 

For added prevention, consider investing in gutter guards to reduce the amount of debris that gets into your gutters. 

Assessing gutter damage

While minor issues can often be fixed with DIY solutions, it's important to know when a repair is sufficient or if a replacement is needed

If your gutters are old, heavily damaged, or consistently problematic, it might be time for a replacement. Regular inspections will help you assess the state of your gutters and make an informed decision.

When to Call Gutter Professionals

A worker from Pacific Gutter Company taking measurements for a new gutter system.

While DIY solutions can be effective for minor gutter issues, there are scenarios where calling in professionals is a necessary decision. 

Certain gutter problems require a level of expertise and equipment beyond the reach of most homeowners. Recognizing these situations can save you from further damage and costly repairs down the line.

Here is when it's best to call in gutter professionals:

Severe storm damage

If your gutters have suffered extensive storm damage – such as detachment from the house or significant sagging due to ice or debris – professional intervention is necessary. They have the skills and equipment to safely repair or replace damaged sections.

Persistent leaks

While minor leaks can often be patched, persistent or multiple leaks might indicate a more serious issue that requires professional attention.

Incorrect slope

Improper slope is a more complex issue to fix since it requires precise measurements to create the correct angle for your gutters to slope toward the downspouts. A professional can correctly adjust the slope to ensure proper drainage.

Frequent clogs

If your gutters are constantly clogging despite regular cleaning, it might be time to call in the professionals. They can offer solutions like gutter guards or recommend a different type of gutter system better suited to your needs.


If your gutters are old, heavily damaged, or not functioning properly despite numerous repairs, they likely need to be replaced. This is a job for professionals who can ensure correct installation.

Benefits of professional gutter installation and maintenance

Investing in professional gutter services – like Pacific Gutter Company – has several advantages:

  • Expertise: Professionals have the knowledge and experience to handle complex gutter issues to ensure all repairs and installations are done correctly and efficiently.
  • Safety: Working on gutters often involves heights and heavy materials. Professionals have the necessary safety equipment and training to perform these tasks safely.
  • Time-Saving: Professionals can complete the work much faster than a DIY approach, saving you valuable time.
  • Warranty: Many professional gutter services offer warranties on their work and materials, providing you with peace of mind and protection against future issues.

Remember, your gutters are crucial in protecting your home from water damage

While it's beneficial to handle minor issues on your own, don't hesitate to call in the professionals when necessary. They can help ensure your gutters are in optimal condition to safeguard your home from the next big storm.

Preventative Measures for Future Storms

A person wearing orange gloves scooping dirt and leaves out of a gutter.

The Pacific Northwest’s heavy rains and storms can take a toll on your home's gutter system. However, with proper preventative measures, you can minimize the effects of these weather conditions and prolong the lifespan of your gutters.

Regular cleaning

Regular cleaning is the most effective way to prevent clogs and blockages in your gutters, especially during storm seasons. Aim to clean your gutters at least twice a year – ideally in the spring and fall. 

However, given the frequency of rain in the Pacific Northwest, consider cleaning them more often, particularly after heavy storms.

And if you don’t feel comfortable or safe cleaning your gutters, hire professional gutter cleaners like Pacific Gutter Company.

Installation of gutter guards

Gutter guards are a valuable investment for homes in regions prone to heavy rainfall and stormy conditions. 

For instance, Gutter Shutter or RainDrop prevent larger debris like leaves and twigs from entering your gutter system while still allowing water to flow freely. This reduces the risk of blockages and reduces the need for frequent cleaning.

Regular inspections

Regularly inspect your gutter system for signs of damage, such as sagging, leaks, or improper slope. 

Early detection allows for timely repairs and prevents minor issues from becoming more serious problems.

Professional checks

Despite your best DIY efforts, it's advisable to have your gutters checked by professionals periodically. 

They can spot potential issues that you might miss and provide expert advice on maintenance and preventive measures.

Safeguarding Your Home with Proactive Gutter Maintenance

A home with new gutters installed by Pacific Gutter Company next to a red leaf tree.

By understanding the specific challenges of Pacific Northwest weather conditions and taking proactive steps for maintenance and repair, you can significantly reduce the risk of water damage to your home. 

Regular cleaning, timely repairs, and professional assessments are key to ensuring your gutters remain functional and effective.

Have questions? Give Pacific Gutter Company a call at (866) 912-2674. We’re here to help!

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