Gutters are so important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home components, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help prevent your house from damages.
And it’s much easier than you might think.
Spotting a leak in your gutters early can protect the entire house. Here, we’ve provided a few signs that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are a lot of signs that point to leaking gutters, even if you don’t actually notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the ground to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to look for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it causes stress on the fasteners. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roof might not cause a leak just yet, but will ultimately cause issues. Getting these defects repaired is much more affordable than replacing gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If rain is pooling around your home, 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 home, just in case.
Pooling water near your home can be especially harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several of them.
A drip from your gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak. These minor leaks can occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as tightening them, but it may also be necessary to cover the hole so no more water can escape 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 put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves evidence behind, especially when it is constantly or frequently there. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic materials stick to the wet surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the result of constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after you see water stains. water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters fixed, but if the gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your window sills, you may have leaking gutters.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also go hand in hand with older building materials, so all factors need to be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a 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 should be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Littleton gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can build a nest in your rain gutters or downspout, which can also 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 pooling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your rain gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be little now, a sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs mean there are issues with your rain gutter that must be addressed immediately. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is when a gutter service in Littleton can be of great help. They can determine whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the lifetime of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do simple gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are ready to complete the project 1-2 times each year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Littleton Gutter Cleaning. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately determine the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we feel that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!