Gutters are very important because – although they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help protect your home from major damages.
And it’s really a lot simpler than you might think.
Finding a leak in your gutters early can protect the entire house. Here, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if your gutters may be leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a lot of signs that indicate leaking gutters, even if you don’t physically see water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the lawn to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to look for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the roof, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roofing may not cause a leak just yet, but these things will definitely lead to problems. Having these defects repaired is a lot more affordable than gutter replacement or any of the damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If water is pooling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your house, just in case.
Pooling water around your house can be bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most visible signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several of them.
A drip from your gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak. These small leaks will occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak is going to start soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as refastening them, but it may also be important to seal the hole so no water can leak from around the screw or the nail, even after it is back in place. You can buy this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves behind evidence, especially when it is consistently or frequently present. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other organic debris adhere to the moist surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters can be fixed, but if the gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on your roof, but you’re starting to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, rotting wood on your porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you might have leaking gutters.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also are related to aging building materials, so all factors need to be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to major repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is usually an easy fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Aurora gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your rain gutters or downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start to see some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your gutter with little debris present. While it may be small now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs mean there are problems with your gutter that need to be addressed immediately. By checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a gutter service in Aurora can be of great help. They can determine if gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do simple gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are eager to complete the project a couple of times a year to save some money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like AllClean Aurora Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to accurately diagnose the issue. We provide free inspections for new customers.
If there are repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!