Gutters are really important because – while they are simple and inexpensive – they protect valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to protect your home from damages.
And it’s really much simpler than you might think.
Spotting a leaking gutter early can protect the entire house. Below, we’ve provided a few signs that you can be on the lookout for (without calling a roof specialist) to determine if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a lot of warning signs that indicate a gutter leak, even if you don’t see water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the lawn to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to look for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the roof, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roofing might not be causing a leak just yet, but these things will certainly result in issues. Getting these defects repaired is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the possible damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If rain is pooling around your home, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water near your house can be really harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most visible signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t overflowing, there is an unseen leak somewhere. These tiny leaks can happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters means a leak is going to start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as refastening them, but it could also be important to seal the hole so no more water can escape from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves evidence behind, especially if it is constantly or frequently there. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other organic materials stick to the moist surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters repaired, but if the gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re starting to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you might have a gutter leak.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t be. They also are related to older building materials, so all of these factors need to be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to home repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is typically an easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Wheaton gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which will also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, you will start seeing some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs indicate there are problems with your rain gutter that need to be addressed immediately. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a gutter service in Wheaton can be of great help. They can determine whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do simple gutter care, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it is time consuming and dangerous, they are willing to take on the project a couple of times a year to save some money.
However, any job beyond basic gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like TLC Gutter Cleaning. Then let us do an inspection to correctly determine the issue. We offer free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any gutter repairs to be made, or if we feel that it’s time to install new gutters, you can trust us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!