Rain Gutters are important because – although they are simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help prevent your home from major damages.
And it’s really much simpler than you might think.
Spotting a leaking gutter early can protect your entire house. Below, we’ve listed a few signs that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roofer) to determine if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a lot of warning signs that point to a leaking gutter, even if you don’t physically see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the safety of your lawn to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the house, it causes stress on the connections. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roof might not be causing a leak yet, but will certainly result in issues. Having these defects fixed is a lot more affordable than replacing gutters or any of the damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If water is puddling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your house, just to be careful.
Pooling water by your home can be harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause 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 is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak. These minor leaks can 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 will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as tightening them, but it can also be important to cover the hole so no water can leak from around the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves behind evidence, especially if it is consistently or frequently there. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other materials adhere to the wet surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the product of constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after you see water stains. water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters can be repaired, but if your gutters are rusty, they will definitely have 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 your roof, but you’re starting to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your window sills, you may have a gutter leak.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from somewhere 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 home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is typically an easy fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Mobile gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start seeing 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 rain gutter with minimal 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 issues with your gutter that must be addressed right away. By checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Mobile can be helpful. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the lifetime of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do simple gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are willing to take on the project a couple of times a year to save some money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like Mobile Gutter Service. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately determine the problem. 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 trust us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!