Rain Gutters are important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home components, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to protect your home from damages.
And it’s a lot simpler than you probably think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect the entire home. Below, we’ve provided a few signs that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roofer) to see if your gutters may be leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a number of warning signs that point to leaking gutters, even if you don’t notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here are some things to look for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the roof, it stresses the fasteners. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roof might not be causing a leak yet, but these things will definitely lead to issues. Having these defects fixed is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If rain is puddling around your house, 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 house, just to be sure.
Pooling water around your home can be very damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most visible signs of a gutter leak 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 of the gutter and it isn’t a big overflow, there is a hidden leak. These tiny leaks can happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits starts to become a new area where water can get out if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as refastening them, but it might also be important to seal the hole so no more water can leak from around the screw or nail, even after it is back in place. You can buy this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves evidence behind, especially if it is constantly or frequently there. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other debris adhere to the moist surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after you see water stains. water stains can be cleaned and the gutters repaired, but if your 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 top of your roof, but you’re beginning to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your porch or deck, or mold on your window sills, you may have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also are related to older building materials, so all of these factors should be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to home repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a gutter leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is a pretty easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Folsom gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which will also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, 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 easily take root in your rain gutter with little debris present. While it may be small 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 have to be addressed right away. 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 Folsom can be helpful. They can distinguish 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.
Some homeowners decide to do basic gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are willing to complete the project a couple of times each year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like Folsom Gutter Service. 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 to install new gutters, you can count on us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!