If you are like most homeowners, your gutters are not something you really think about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but besides that, their functionality is very simple.
It’s not until rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most homes in Dayton. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … building materials that are designed to stand out! Most are crafted from durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to provide a route of least resistance for rain to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they’re in good condition, your gutters will route runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaks, and the rain gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When they are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to fix to be the reason for major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following signs, it’s a strong clue that your gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you identify a possible gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable repairing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you should hire a gutter company to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the rain runoff away from your house the way they should be. Pooling water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the areas around your house consistently wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or the exterior of your home. Mold and mildew mean there is too much moisture in that area – a possible problem with the gutters could be the cause. Remember that mildew and mold are likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it may just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a situation where the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Dayton would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll need to wait until it’s actually raining to find this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean you have gutter damage. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and needs to be cleaned out. Either way, you need to have it looked at right away.
Based on the design of your basement, the leaking might be caused by any number of things. The pooling problem we mentioned before could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is necessary to keep your gutters in good shape!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters pour directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it isn’t supposed to. This pooling rain water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed building materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually see water marks right beneath the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that water is pouring down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is the easiest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they have damage. Following a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your home to assess any possible damage to the roof, outer walls, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of easy ways Discount Gutter Services recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time each year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the fewer problems you’ll have with them.
The recommended time to clean out gutters is during the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters themselves, but there are many local gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to handle the mess or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the issues we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to confirm that your gutters are functioning correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing a problem before it becomes too bad can save you a lot of time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can be replaced very affordably.
However, if you let the issue go on for too long, you might end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.