Rain Gutters are important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to prevent your house from damages.
And it’s really a lot easier than you probably think.
Spotting a leak in your gutters early can protect the entire home. In this blog post, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can look for (without calling a roofer) to determine if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a lot of warning signs that point to a gutter leak, even if you don’t see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the safety of your ground to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the house, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roof may not be causing a leak just yet, but these things will ultimately result in problems. Getting these defects fixed is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If rain is pooling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your house, just to be careful.
Pooling water around your home can be really bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is an unseen 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 working their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak will start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole 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 simple as refastening them, but it may also be important to seal the hole so no more water can escape from around the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially when it is consistently or frequently there. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic debris adhere to the wet surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters fixed, but if gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on your roof, but you’re beginning to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you may have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also go hand in hand with aging building materials, so all factors need to be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is usually an easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that needs to be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Dayton gutter cleaning service – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or another pest can build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start to see some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be small now, a sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs mean there are problems with your gutter that have to be addressed immediately. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Dayton can be of great help. They can determine if gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the lifetime of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do simple gutter care, 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 basic gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter service with good customer reviews like Discount Gutter Services. Then let us do a full 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 believe that it’s time to install new gutters, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!