Hurricanes and Gutters: A Quick Rundown

hurricanes and gutters feature image of damaged gutter

Roofers talk about storms and hurricanes…All. The. Time. But what about hurricanes and gutters? In preparation for hurricane season, we’ve decided to put together a quick but comprehensive hurricane gutter guide!

In this guide, we’ll answer the most common FAQs related to gutters and storms including:

  • Will a hurricane damage my gutters?
  • Does wind affect my gutters?
  • Can I file an insurance claim for gutter damage?
  • How can I prepare my gutters for heavy rains?
  • Will my gutters overflow in heavy rain?

Read on to learn how to protect your home and gutters this hurricane season.

How hurricanes and storms can affect your gutters

Pooling water in a yard with duck

Essentially, storms will bring to light any problems your gutters already have.

Are your gutters loose or secured poorly?

The wind could blow the gutter loose from your fascia or disconnect a downspout from your siding.

Are your gutters clogged or too small?

Your gutters will quickly overflow, which can lead to leaks and wood rot.

Do your gutters have a poor drainage system?

Your yard could flood and have pooling water rather than drain the water.

Do you have heavy tree coverage?

Wind might blow branches and debris onto your roof and gutters. Alternatively, you could have a tree or tree branch fall on your roof and gutters.

We don’t mean to sound doomsday here. We only want to prepare you! It’s critical that  gutters are at their peak performance in order to handle the heavy rains that hurricane season brings.

With that in mind, how do you prepare your gutters for heavy rains?

How to prepare your gutters for heavy rains

Clogged gutters with pine needles

  1. Look for leaks.

During a regular or heavy rain, step outside and check for any leaks in your gutters. Typically, most leaks start at gutter joints and seams. However, if your gutters are over 20 years old, there could be leaks throughout the system.

  1. Inspect your water exit points.

Every downspout should have a splash block, gutter hose, or underground drainage pipe in place. If a downspout doesn’t have any of these, it should be in an area where the water will naturally flow away from the home’s foundation.

  1. Note any drainage issues

Next rain, check to see what your yard looks like during and after the rainfall. Do you have areas with pooling water? If so, you either have overflowing gutters or an improper drainage system.

For overflowing gutters, contact your local gutter expert for an inspection. Alternatively, for poor drainage, consider reaching out to a landscaping and drainage specialist.

  1. Clean your gutters.

As mentioned earlier, heavy rains and hurricanes can damage your home if your gutters aren’t at peak performance. Naturally, the best way to prevent this damage is to clean your gutters to allow for proper water flow. Check out our top ten gutter cleaning tips here, or click here for a free gutter cleaning estimate!

  1. Trim tree branches.

Tree damage is incredibly common during hurricane season in North Carolina. If you have any large branches hanging over your house, they could snap and fall onto your roof and gutters, causing minor to significant damage. Instead, avoid the headache, and trim your trees before the big storms hit.

Storms, gutters, and insurance claims

Tree fall on house - hurricanes and gutters

While less common than roof claims, homeowners can file storm damage claims for their gutter systems. For many of our customers, the claims go hand and hand, and both systems need repair or replacement as a result of storm damage.

If your gutter damage is clearly the result of a storm (e.g. a tree fall), your insurance policy most likely covers it. Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to go over your coverage with your agent prior to filing an official claim.

Depending on your policy, insurance in many cases will also cover wind or hail damage. However, if the damage looks like maintenance neglect versus actual storm damage, they are less likely to cover the damages.

Unsure if you should file a hail or wind claim for your roof and/or gutters? Contact us for a free storm inspection.

We hope you found this guide helpful, and we wish you and your home luck this hurricane season.

Eager for more home improvement tips? Let us know what kind of resources you’re looking for in the comments below!