If you are like many homeowners, your gutters aren’t something you often worry about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is very simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you understand how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most homes in Peoria. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … materials that are designed to stand out! Most are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of rain gutters is to provide a route of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof. When they are in good shape, your gutters will route runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaks, and the gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to repair to be the cause of major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you see any of the following signs, it’s a good indication that your gutters have some type of damage.
Once you notice a gutter problem, you can decide whether it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you should call a gutter company for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water near your home is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the rain runoff away from your house the way they are designed to. Pooling water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas around your home perpetually wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or on the sides of your home. Mold and mildew indicate that there is a lot of moisture around that area – a possible problem with the gutters could be to blame. Remember that mildew and mold are likely to grow on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it may just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a scenario where the advice and expertise of a professional in Peoria would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will have to wait until it’s raining to find this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean you have gutter damage. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned out. In either case, you need to have it looked at ASAP.
Depending on the construction of your home’s basement, your leak could be due to any number of things. The pooling issue we mentioned earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls can only block out so much water. That’s why it is so necessary to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. But, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This rain water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It might 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 sometimes left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually find water marks under the gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a usually a sign that water is running down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they have damage. Following a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your house to identify any possible damage to the roof, outer walls, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of easy tips Peoria Gutters, Inc. recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time each year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out regularly. Like with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the less problems you’ll have with them.
The optimal time to clean gutters is in the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are many professional gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to handle the mess or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of gutter 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 problems we wrote about above.
We’d recommend that you do an exterior home inspection after each season to be sure that your gutters are functioning the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing a problem before it becomes too bad can save you time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can be replaced very affordably and quickly.
But, if you let the problem go on too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.