Rain Gutters are so important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home components, like the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help prevent your home from major damages.
And it’s much easier than you might think.
Identifying a leaking gutter early can protect the entire home. In this blog post, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roofer) to determine if your gutters may be leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a lot of warning signs that suggest a leaking gutter, even if you don’t physically notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here are some things to look for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be caused by poor installation, low quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the home might not be causing a leak just yet, but these things will ultimately result in issues. Getting these defects fixed is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the possible damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If water is puddling 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 close to your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water around your house can be really damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak. These tiny leaks can occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters means a leak will start soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as tightening them, but it may also be important to cover the hole so no more water can leak from the edge of the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves evidence behind, especially if it is consistently or frequently present. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic materials stick to the moist surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after you see water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters fixed, but if your gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re starting to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your porch or deck, or mold on your window sills, you might have leaking gutters.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also go hand in hand with older building materials, so all of these factors need to be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is usually an easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Roanoke gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can quickly build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there a while, you will start to see some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs mean there are problems with your gutter that need to be addressed immediately. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a gutter service in Roanoke can be of great help. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is required 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, themselves. Although it is time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are eager to take on the chore a couple of times a year to save some money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like Roanoke Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately diagnose the problem. We provide free inspections for new customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we feel that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!