Rain Gutters are really important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect valuable home investments, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help prevent your house from major damages.
And it’s a lot simpler than you probably think.
Finding a gutter leak early can protect the entire house. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few signs that you can be on the lookout for (without calling a roofer) to see if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are a lot of warning signs that indicate a gutter leak, even if you don’t actually see water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it causes stress on the connections. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roofing may not cause a leak yet, but will definitely result in problems. Having these defects fixed is a lot more affordable than installing new gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – 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 water source that is near your house, just to be careful.
Pooling water around your house can be very damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the more noticeable signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several of them.
A drip from your rain gutter indicates 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 will happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding 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 hole where the nail or screw fits in starts to become a new area where water can escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as tightening them, but it could also be necessary to cover the hole so no more water can leak from around the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially if it is consistently or frequently there. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other debris stick to the wet surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after you see water stains. Most water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters fixed, but if the gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, decaying wood on your porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you might have a gutter leak.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also are related to older building materials, so all of these factors should be considered 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 issue is a pretty simple fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that needs to be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Fitchburg gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which will cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, you will start to see some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs indicate there are issues with your gutter that have to be addressed immediately. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Fitchburg can be of great help. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do simple gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are eager to complete the project 1-2 times a year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like Fitchburg Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to correctly diagnose the issue. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are repairs to be made, or if we feel that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can count on us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!