If you are like a lot of people, your rain gutters are not something you often worry about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize just how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most houses in Folsom. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … building materials that are designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to create a route of minimal resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they’re in good shape, your gutters will lead runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the foundation and basement from leaking water, and the gutters themselves from rust.
When they are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to repair to be the cause of any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you notice any of the following issues, it’s a strong indication that your gutters have some type of damage.
Once you identify a gutter problem, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable fixing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you should hire a gutter specialist for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the rain runoff away from your house the way they are supposed to. Standing water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas surrounding your house consistently wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or on the sides of your home. Mold and mildew mean that there is too much moisture in that area – a potential issue with the gutters could be the cause. Remember that mold and mildew are more likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are appearing, 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 Folsom would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll need to wait until it’s actually raining to look for this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that you have gutter damage. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and should be cleaned. Either way, you need to have it looked at right away.
Based on the design of your basement, your leak could be caused by any number of things. The pooling issue we mentioned before could definitely result in 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 designed to work with this water flow to help it submerge into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This standing water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
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 under the gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that rain water is streaming down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is the simplest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they definitely 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 gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy tips Folsom Gutter Service recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least one time a year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. Like with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the fewer problems you’ll have with them.
The optimal time to clean gutters is during the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners clean their gutters themselves, but there are professional 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 gutter damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. A quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the issues we mentioned above.
We’d recommend that you do an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to ensure that your gutters are functioning the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing a problem 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 area of landscaping.