If you are like many homeowners, your gutters are not something you really think about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is very simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand just how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most roofs in Aurora. They fade into the exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … building materials that are definitely designed to stand out! Most are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to create a route of least resistance for rain to get off your roof quickly. When they’re in good condition, your rain gutters will lead runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaks, 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 simple to fix to be the cause of major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following signs, it’s a pretty strong indication that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you notice a possible gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you should trust a gutter specialist for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the rain runoff away from your home the way they should be. Standing water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, it will make the areas around your house constantly wet 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 exterior of your home. Mold and mildew indicate there is excessive moisture in that area – a potential problem with the rain gutters could be the cause. Keep in mind that mildew and mold are likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it may just be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight on it. This is a situation where the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Aurora would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll have to wait until it’s actually raining to notice this type of gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that you have gutter damage. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned out. In either case, you want to have it looked at right away.
Depending on the construction of your basement, the leaking might be caused by any number of things. The standing water problem we mentioned before could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls can only keep out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters empty 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 where it shouldn’t. This standing rain water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed building materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You will usually find water marks right beneath the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that 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 easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to assess any possible damage to the roof, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy ways AllClean Aurora Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time each year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out regularly. As with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the less problems you’ll experience with them.
The recommended time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners choose to clean their gutters themselves, but there are local gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the work or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. A quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the problems we discussed above.
We’d recommend that you complete an exterior home inspection after each season to be sure that your gutters are working the right way.
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.
But, if you let the problem go on for too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.