If you’re like many people, your rain gutters aren’t something you really think about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you realize just how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most roofs in Littleton. They fade into the exterior unless the homeowner has opted for copper or wood … building materials that are definitely meant to stand out! Most are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to create a path of least resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof quickly. When they are in good shape, your rain gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaking water, and the gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When they are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to fix to be the cause of any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is easy and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a good clue that your gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you identify a possible gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you feel comfortable repairing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you should trust a gutter company for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the water runoff away from your house the way they should be. Standing water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas around your house consistently soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or the exterior of your home. Mold and mildew indicate that there is too much moisture in that area – a potential issue with the rain gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mold and mildew are more likely to grow on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are appearing, it may just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a scenario when the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Littleton would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will have to wait until it’s raining to discover this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean you have gutter damage. It might just be that the gutter is full of debris and needs to be cleaned out. In either case, you want to have it checked ASAP.
Depending on the design of your home’s basement, the leaking might be caused by any number of things. The standing water issue we discussed before could definitely result in a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in good condition!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters pour directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this water flow to help it submerge into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed building materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually see water marks beneath the gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that water is pouring down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is by far the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to assess any damage to the roof, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to any standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy ways Littleton Gutter Cleaning recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time a year. You can lengthen the amount of time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the fewer problems you’ll have with them.
The optimal time to clean out gutters is during the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners choose to clean their gutters themselves, but there are many local gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to deal with the work or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the signs we wrote about above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection following each season to confirm that your gutters are working properly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of an issue before it becomes too bad can save you a lot of time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can be replaced very affordably.
However, if you let the issue go on too long, you might end up making repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.