Gutters are very important because – while they are simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to protect your house from major damages.
And it’s really much simpler than you probably think.
Spotting a leak in your gutters early can protect the entire house. Here, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roofer) to determine if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are many signs that indicate a leaking gutter, even if you don’t actually see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the lawn to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to look for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the home, it stresses the fasteners. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, low quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the house may not be causing a leak yet, but will certainly create issues. Getting these defects repaired is affordable than installing new gutters or any of the possible damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If rain is pooling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your home, just to be careful.
Pooling water around your house can be very bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most obvious signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your rain gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak somewhere. These minor leaks will occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters likely means a leak will start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits in becomes 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 might also be important to cover the hole so no more water can escape from the edge of the screw or nail, even after it is back in place. You can purchase this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves behind evidence, especially if it is consistently or frequently there. Dark water stains will appear because dirt and other organic debris stick to the moist surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the result of constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after water stains. Most water stains can be cleaned and the gutters can be repaired, but if your gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a tree 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 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 factors need to be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is a pretty simple fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this or hire a Washington gutter cleaning service – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can build a nest in your rain gutters or downspout, which will cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start seeing some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
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 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 gutter that need to be addressed immediately. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a gutter service in Washington can be helpful. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do simple gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are ready to take on the project a couple of times a year to save some money.
However, any job beyond gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter service with good customer reviews like DC Gutter Service. Then let us do an inspection to accurately determine the problem. We provide free inspections for potential 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 right. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!