If you are like many homeowners, your rain gutters aren’t something you often worry about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their purpose is incredibly simple.
It’s not until gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most houses in Lee’s Summit. They blend into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner preferred copper or wood … building materials that are meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to create a route of minimal resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they are in good shape, your rain gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaks, and the rain gutters themselves from rust.
When they are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to repair to be the reason for major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a strong clue that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
Once you find a gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s a project you’d rather hire a gutter company to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling water near your home is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the water runoff away from your house the way they should be. Pooling water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, it will make the areas around your house consistently 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 exterior of your home. Mold and mildew mean that there is a lot of moisture around that area – a possible problem with the gutters could be the cause. Keep in mind that mold and mildew are more likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where they’re appearing, it might just be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a situation when the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Lee’s Summit would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s actually raining to find this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned. Either way, you need to have it looked at ASAP.
Based on the design of your home’s basement, the leaking could be due to any number of things. The pooling issue we discussed before could definitely result in a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls can only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters pour directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be designed to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it isn’t supposed to. This rain water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed building materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are the first sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You will usually see water marks right beneath the rain gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a usually an indication that rain water is running down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is by far the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they definitely have damage. Following a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to identify any damage to the roof, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy ways Lee’s Summit Gutter Service recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time a year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out regularly. As with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the fewer issues you’ll have with them.
The optimal time to clean out gutters is during the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners choose to clean their gutters on their own, but there are many local gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to deal with the work or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. A fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the signs we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to be sure that your gutters are functioning properly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of an issue before it becomes too bad can save you a lot of time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can be replaced very affordably.
However, if you let the problem go on for too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.