Maintenance will keep your commercial gutters working properly. However, if a problem develops, it will help if you have an idea of the cause and the possible repair options. Many guttering problems can be solved without extensive work or complete gutter replacement.
Water not Flowing or Overflowing
Slow drainage or water spilling over the edge is normally caused by one of two problems. If rainwater is not being diverted, there is most likely a clog in the guttering system. An inspection and cleaning is the first step to take in this situation.
During the inspection, a professional should check the size of the gutters to ensure they are adequate for the size of the roof. Unfortunately, if the guttering is undersized it will need to be replaced.
Slope or Pitch Shifted
If your gutters are clean and sized appropriately, but still draining slowly, have the pitched checked. Guttering will slope downwards slightly to effectively draw water from the roof. The normal slope is between one to two inches over 40 linear feet.
This pitch can change as hangers become loose and allow the guttering to slope in the wrong direction. Newer buildings may also settle over a few years, changing the slope of the entire building. A simple adjustment will need to be made to lift the sagging gutter area to create the correct pitch.
Ice Dam Formation
Ice dams appear as large formations of icicles hanging off the edges of the roof and gutter. These dams tend to occur on sloped roofing systems, but can occur anywhere when ice melts and then refreezes before it is diverted from the guttering. On sloped residential roofs, the problem is often caused by insulation problems.
The same heating and cooling issues can occur on commercial roofs. Unfortunately, on large buildings, insulating may not be a viable solution and a lack of insulation is not the only reason dams form. For sloped commercial roofs, heated panels along the drip edge can stop the ice formation. Heating systems for the guttering along flat roofs will keep the water flowing.
Do consult a professional commercial guttering company if your building has ice dam problems. The situation can lead to gutter and roof damage. Icicles breaking away from the gutter are also a hazard for individuals walking underneath the roof edge.
Hail may chip away some of the protective coating on steel guttering. In most cases the coating will stand up to hail, but an inspection should be performed. Small dings or dents in the guttering normally do not present a problem as long as the structure itself is not damaged.
Breaks Along the Gutter
Seams and connecting sections of seamless gutter may come apart over time. If leaks are noticeable along the length of the gutter, an inspection should be made to locate the break. Water can run a long way along the side or bottom of a gutter, so accurate diagnosis is required. Seamed and seamless gutter can be resealed as long as no rust or corrosion is creating the problem. Once rust begins to form, the gutter section should be replaced.
When you have guttering problems that are beyond the expertise of your maintenance personnel, work with a commercial gutter company. Commercial systems require experienced professional to make sure that the gutters provide the designed level of protection.