Gutters are very important because – although they are simple and inexpensive – they protect valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning gutters is an easy way to prevent your home from major damages.
And it’s much simpler than you might think.
Finding a gutter leak early can protect an entire house. Here, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to see if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a lot of warning signs that point to leaking gutters, even if you don’t actually notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the safety of your lawn to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the home, it causes stress on the fasteners. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, poor quality materials, damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roofing might not cause a leak yet, but will ultimately lead to problems. Having these defects repaired is much 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 home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your home, just in case.
Pooling water by your home can be very harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most obvious signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your rain 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 an unseen leak somewhere. These minor leaks will happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working 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 starts to become a new area where water can escape if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as refastening them, but it may also be important to cover the hole so no more water can leak from around the screw or nail, even after it is back in place. You can purchase this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially when it is constantly or frequently there. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic materials stick 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 can be cleaned and the gutters can be fixed, but if your gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t 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 moldy window sills, you could have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also are related to aging building materials, so all of these factors should be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is usually an easy fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that needs to be removed. You can do this or hire a Brick gutter cleaning service – or even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or another pest can quickly build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which will also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, you will start seeing some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs mean there are problems with your rain gutter that need to be addressed immediately. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Brick can be helpful. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do basic gutter care, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it can be time-consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are eager to complete the chore 1-2 times each year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond gutter cleaning should be left to professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter service with good customer reviews like Good Home Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to accurately determine the issue. We provide free inspections for new customers.
If there are any 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 will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!