Most homeowners consider noisy gutters to be a mere annoyance. However, noisy gutters can be a sign of a more serious underlying issue, which, left unattended, can eventually cause significant problems for your roof.
Of course, it’s best to let a gutter professional inspect your gutters to determine the root cause of the noise. In the meantime, you can try these quick fixes:
Quick Fixes for Noisy Gutters
Use the nylon-string trick – Attach nylon rope at the top of the downspout and run it all the way down. When water comes into contact with the nylon string, it will follow the path of the string, guiding water droplets noiselessly into the drain.
Insert a sponge into the corners of the downspouts – The sponge should quietly absorb the drips.
Long-Term Solutions for Noisy Gutters
After a gutter installation contractor finishes the inspection, they may recommend some of the following solutions:
Replace your downspouts’ metal elbows with a PVC elbow – The sound of dripping water tends to echo louder in a metal elbow. You can try replacing metal elbows with PVC or vinyl elbows, which tend to produce less noise.
Insulate the downspout – Thick foam insulators can reduce surface vibrations in the downspout, muffling the sound of dripping water.
Adjust the angle of the downspouts – Your gutters and downspouts have a slight tilt that allows rainwater to slide down to your drains, but it if they’re too rigid or weren’t installed properly, water could drip down to the corner of the gutters, producing a jarring noise with each drop. It’s best to let a gutter installation contractor handle the adjustment, as getting the right angle for your gutters and downspouts can be tricky.
Tighten loose fasteners and straps – Loose parts are often the cause of noisy gutters. The thermal cycle—repeated contractions and expansions in the gutter material due to changes in the temperature—may have loosened gutter fasteners or your downspouts’ straps.
While these solutions address the issue of gutter noise, they don’t necessarily address the root cause of the noise. If the root cause isn’t addressed, gutter noise could keep coming back.
What are the usual culprits behind noisy gutters? In most cases, the root cause of noisy gutters is irregular gutter maintenance. Without regular cleaning, leaves and all kinds of debris can accumulate in your gutter, causing water to drip down the downspouts slowly.
What’s the Worst That Could Happen?
What’s the worst that could happen if you forget to clean your gutters? Potential roofing issues include:
Pest problems – Pests and wild animals prefer to nest in small spaces that can provide protection from the elements, like your gutters. Decaying organic matter and stagnant water can make your gutters even more attractive to pests that could potentially be disease-carriers.
Mold – Gutter clogs can cause rainwater to overflow onto or seep into parts of your roof. Moisture, combined with the lack of sunlight, can create a dark, damp environment that’s the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can quickly affect other parts of your home.
Cracks in your roof, exterior and foundation – Your gutters, along with your roof, are your home’s first line of defense against the elements. If they aren’t working properly, your exterior, particularly your roof, will become more vulnerable to moisture damage and wear and tear. In some cases, overflowing rainwater might seep into your home’s foundation, compromising its structural integrity.
Gutter Covers: Reducing Your Gutters’ Maintenance Needs
Routine gutter cleaning is a must—the problem is most homeowners just don’t have the time to clean their gutters. Fortunately, there’s a solution: installing gutter covers. These devices prevent leaves, twigs and other kinds of debris from entering and clogging your gutters. Gutter Helmet® is the only brand on the market with a Never Clean Your Gutters Again® guarantee.
Thanks to its patented nose-forward design and ribbed surface, Gutter Helmet is able to take full advantage of the principle of surface tension (wherein the water molecules stick together when they have nothing else to cling to ), allowing the gutter guards to passively draw rainwater into your gutters while keeping leaves and other debris out. Plus, Gutter Helmet is mounted onto your gutters using heavy-duty brackets, so you don’t have to worry about your gutter covers being dislodged.
Loose Gutter Brackets and Downspout Straps
Loose gutter brackets and downspout straps are another common cause of noisy gutters. These problems can develop when leaves and twigs accumulate in the gutters. The excess weight load from accumulated debris can either loosen the brackets and straps or cause sections of your gutters to sag. Left unattended, the extra weight load might even cause sections of your gutters to pull apart at the seams, creating gutter leaks.
Seamless Gutters vs. Regular Gutters: What’s the Difference?
Aside from routine gutter maintenance, one of the ways to reduce the risk of gutter leaks is to replace your old gutter system with seamless gutters. Seams and joints are the weak points of conventional gutter systems. Seamless gutters don’t have this vulnerability, making them more resistant to leaks.
Ice Dams, Sagging Gutters and Loose Downspouts
What are the other factors that can cause your gutters to sag or the fasteners and downspout traps to loosen? In areas with cold climates, ice dams are a big factor. The added weight load from the ice dams may loosen some of your gutters’ fasteners or downspout straps.
How do you prevent ice dams from forming? Routine gutter maintenance is one way of keeping ice dams from building up on your gutters. Clogged gutters, in particular, are more susceptible to ice dams. Alternatively, you can install heated gutter systems to prevent the formation of ice dams in your gutters.
Ice Dam Prevention: Heated Gutter Systems
Of course, not all heated gutter systems are made equal. If you’re considering installing Gutter Helmet, Helmet Heat® is a great supplementary accessory for your new gutter covers.
Helmet Heat heated gutter systems use a self-regulating heating cable that’s hidden under the Gutter Helmet cover. The hidden heating cables feature self-regulating capabilities to ensure your gutters don’t overheat. Unlike other gutter heating systems, Helmet Heat raises the temperature of your gutters to just the right temperature, enough to prevent ice from forming but not too high that your gutters become hot to the touch or energy is wasted.
What if sections of your gutter system sag, or water continues to flow out of your gutters even though you clean your gutters regularly? The problem might lie with your gutters’ capacity—your gutters might not be large enough to handle the amount of precipitation in your area.
The Importance of Vetting Contractors
One more thing: To make sure you’ll get to enjoy all of the benefits of your new seamless gutters and gutter accessories, make sure to hire a qualified contractor. Look for a local contractor with many years of experience to ensure best results.