7 Signs of Gutter Damage on Your Home

damaged rain gutter

If you are like most homeowners, your rain gutters are not something you often worry about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their purpose is very simple.

It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you realize how important they are for your home!

WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?

Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most houses in Roanoke. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner has opted for copper or wood … materials that are definitely meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.

The purpose of rain gutters is to provide a path of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof. When they are in good shape, your gutters will lead runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from wear and rust.

When they are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and property.

ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?

Gutter damage is too easy to repair 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 indication that your rain gutters have some type of damage.

Once you find a gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s a project you should trust a gutter repairman to handle.

Sitting Water Near Your Home

Standing water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the water runoff away from your home the way they should be. Pooling water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the areas surrounding your house constantly soggy and muddy.

Mold or Mildew

Mold or mildew is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or on the sides of your house. Mold and mildew mean there is too much moisture around that area – a possible problem with the rain gutters could be the cause. Remember that mold and mildew are likely to grow on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it may be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a scenario when the advice and knowledge of a professional in Roanoke would be helpful.

Rain Pouring Over the Gutter

You’ll need to wait until it’s raining to notice this type of gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and needs to be cleaned out. Either way, you want to have it checked ASAP.

Basement Leaks

Based on the design of your home’s basement, the leaking could be due to any number of things. The pooling problem we discussed earlier could definitely result in a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls will only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in working order!

Landscaping or Lawn Damage

Gutters pour directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this water flow to help it disperse into the ground. But, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it isn’t supposed to. This water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed building materials like rock or mulch.

Water Marks

Water marks are the first sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually find water marks right beneath the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that rain water is running down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.

Visible Gutter Damage

The final sign of gutter damage is by far the simplest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they obviously have damage. Following a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to assess any possible damage to the roof, outer walls, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to any routine home inspections.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?

Here are some simple tips Roanoke Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:

Clean your gutters at least one time each year. You can lengthen the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out regularly. As with anything else, the better you care for your rain gutters, the fewer issues you’ll experience with them.

The optimal time to clean gutters is during the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners choose to clean their gutters on their own, but there are many professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the mess or the risk.

Inspect your gutters often. Signs of damage can often 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 discussed 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 an issue before it becomes too bad can save you time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can easily be replaced very affordably and quickly.

However, if you let the issue go on for too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.