Keep Your Rain Gutters Clean
Failure to keep your rain gutters clean is the number one reason why they overflow. Your gutters may look clear, but there could be some blockade at the outlet. The outlet is the area where water leaves the gutter and enters the downspout. The outlet can clog up very quickly if even a small amount of debris covers it.
Small Sticks Lodged in Your Rain Gutters
If a small stick or twig gets lodged in the outlet, leaves can get stuck on the stick causing a clog. This can stop up an entire gutter system or entire run of gutter in a matter of minutes. Sometimes just using a blower at the bottom of the outlet can solve this problem.
Install Gutter Guards
Gutter guards are a full-time protector of your gutter system. They keep your gutters free from all debris and prevent most clogs. Gutter guards can be expensive and require regular maintenance but they are the best way to keep your gutters from overflowing. If you decide to invest in gutter guards, choose a low maintenance system so you don’t have to keep them cleaned as much.
Install a Downspout Drain
Over the past few years, three by four inch downspouts have been more popular as opposed to two by three inch downspouts. The three by four inch downspout holds a much larger capacity of water.
Outlet Sizes for Rain Gutters
Increasing downspout size is an effective way of reducing potential clogs but only if the outlet is cut to the proper size. It does not matter what size the downspout is if the water is overflowing before it gets through the outlet. If the outlet is cut to two by three inches but the downspout is three by 4 inches, you will still have capacity problems. Too many times, gutter installers will change out all the downspouts to a larger size without bothering to cut the outlets bigger.
You may still experience an overflow after purchasing larger downspouts from a less reputable company or handyman that was not aware of this. This can also be overlooked in a DIY situation.
Install More Downspouts
Sometimes you will see structures with one downspout covering a 60 foot run of gutter. It is best to use one downspout per 40 feet of gutter. Depending on the roof area surrounding the downspout this distance may change slightly. Sometimes this may also differ based on cosmetics. You might add some more downspouts for symmetrical visibility on the front of a house. Generally, one downspout for 40 foot of gutter is enough.
If you find that your gutters are still overflowing, sloping them in another direction toward a new downspout or installing an additional one can solve the problem. You can keep a low capacity gutter system from overflowing by installing extra downspouts and creating more areas for water to drain.
Install Larger Rain Gutters
If you have eight hundred to a thousand square feet of water running into a 10 foot section of gutter, it can overwhelm a standard 5 inch gutter system. A five inch gutter can only handle about 1 gallon of water per foot. Upgrading your gutter system from 5 inches to 6 inches will double your water capacity.
Change Your Roof to a Different Material
If the material your roof is made out of creates a higher flow velocity, the water will overshoot the gutter system. A good example is a metal roof. If you have a metal roof, you can try one of the previous listed solutions but you are going to be at a disadvantage because of the water velocity. It can be expensive to change your roof but it is one of the ways you can prevent water from overflowing your gutters. If rain is damaging your home it may be worth the investment to either buy larger gutters or just change the roof material.