Rain Gutters are so important because – although they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home investments, like the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to prevent your house from major damages.
And it’s much easier than you probably think.
Finding a gutter leak early can protect an entire home. In this blog post, we’ve listed a few signs that you can look for (without hiring a roofer) to determine if your gutters may be leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a number of signs that point to leaking gutters, even if you don’t physically notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the lawn to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here’s what to look for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the home, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, poor quality materials, damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roofing may not be causing a leak just yet, but will certainly result in problems. Having these defects fixed is much more affordable than gutter replacement or any of the damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If water is puddling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your home, just in case.
Pooling water around your house can be really harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the more noticeable signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several of them.
A drip from your rain gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak somewhere. These small leaks will happen if a fastener has gotten 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 is going to start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as tightening them, but it may also be important to cover the hole so no water can leak from around the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves evidence behind, especially if it is consistently or frequently present. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other debris stick to the moist surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the product of constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after you see water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters fixed, but if gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on top of 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 might have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t be. They also go hand in hand with aging building materials, so all of these factors should be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is usually an easy fix. It’s probably not a gutter leak, but a clog that has to be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a O’Fallon gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start to see some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your rain gutter with little debris present. While it may be small now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs indicate there are problems with your gutter that need to be addressed immediately. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is where a gutter service in O’Fallon can be helpful. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do basic gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are eager to take on the chore 1-2 times a year to save some money.
However, anything beyond gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like A+ Gutters of O’Fallon. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately determine the issue. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time to install new gutters, you can count on us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!