Rain Gutters are important because – although they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home investments, like the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help prevent your house from damages.
And it’s really a lot simpler than you probably think.
Spotting a leaking gutter early can protect the entire house. In this blog post, we’ve listed a few signs that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a lot of warning signs that indicate leaking gutters, even if you don’t notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the safety of your ground to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to look for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the house, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roofing may not cause a leak just yet, but will ultimately create issues. Having these defects repaired is much more affordable than replacing gutters or any of the possible damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If rain is puddling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your home, just in case.
Pooling water around your house can be harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your rain gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is a hidden leak. These small leaks can happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits starts to become a new area where water can escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as refastening them, but it may also be important to seal the hole so no more water can escape from around the screw or the nail, even after it is back in place. You can buy this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves evidence behind, especially if it is consistently or frequently present. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other organic materials stick to the wet surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters fixed, but if your gutters are rusty, they definitely have to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on your roof, but you’re starting to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your window sills, you may have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also are related to aging building materials, so all factors need to be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a gutter leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Springfield gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start to see some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your gutter with little debris present. While it may be little now, a sapling will sprout really strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs mean there are issues with your rain gutter that must be addressed right away. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Springfield can be of great help. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do simple gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it is time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are ready to complete the project 1-2 times each year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter service with good customer reviews like Clean Home Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to correctly determine the issue. We provide free inspections for new customers.
If there are repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!