Rain Gutters are really important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home components, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help protect your home from damages.
And it’s much easier than you might think.
Finding a leaking gutter early can protect your entire home. In this blog post, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without calling a roofer) to determine if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a number of warning signs that indicate a leaking gutter, even if you don’t physically notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the lawn to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the home, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be the result of poor installation, low quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roof may not cause a leak just yet, but will certainly cause issues. Having these defects fixed is a lot more affordable than replacing gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If rain is pooling around your home, 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 home can be especially damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most obvious signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several drips.
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 an unseen leak somewhere. These tiny leaks can occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws working their way out of the gutters likely means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits starts to become a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as tightening them, but it can also be important to seal the hole so no water can escape from the edge of the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves behind evidence, especially if it is consistently or frequently there. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other debris stick to the wet surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after you see water stains. Most water stains can be cleaned and the gutters can be fixed, but if your gutters are rusty, they definitely have to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on your roof, but you’re starting to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, decaying wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you may have leaking gutters.
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 of these factors should 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 might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is a pretty easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Peoria gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can quickly build a nest in your rain gutters or in your 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 gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs mean there are problems with your gutter that must be addressed right away. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Peoria can be of great help. They can determine if gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do basic gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are willing to complete the project 1-2 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 excellent customer reviews like Peoria Gutters, Inc.. Then let us do an inspection to accurately diagnose the problem. We offer free inspections for potential customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can count on us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!