Rain Gutters are so important because – while they are simple and inexpensive – they protect valuable home components, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help protect your house from damages.
And it’s much easier than you might think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect the entire house. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few signs that you can be on the lookout for (without calling a roof specialist) to determine if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are a lot of warning signs that point to a leaking gutter, even if you don’t physically notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the house, it causes stress on the connectors. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the home may not cause a leak just yet, but these things will definitely create issues. Getting these defects repaired is more affordable than replacing gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If rain is pooling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your home, just to be careful.
Pooling water by your home can be very damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most visible signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak. These small leaks can happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws working their way out of the gutters 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 escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as refastening them, but it might also be important to cover the hole so no water can escape from the edge of the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves behind evidence, especially when it is constantly or frequently there. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic debris stick to the wet surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters can be fixed, but if the gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe 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 around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you could have leaking gutters.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t be. They also are related to older building materials, so all of these factors need to be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a gutter leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This one is a pretty simple fix. It’s probably not a gutter leak, but a clog that needs to be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Lee’s Summit gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can 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 take root in your gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be little now, a 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 indicate there are issues with your rain gutter that have to be addressed right away. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is when a gutter service in Lee’s Summit can be helpful. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do simple gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are willing to complete the project a couple of times each year to save some money.
However, any job beyond gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Lee’s Summit Gutter Service. Then let us do an inspection to accurately determine the issue. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are any gutter repairs to be made, or if we feel that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!