Rain Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home investments, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to protect your home from major damages.
And it’s really much simpler than you probably think.
Finding a leak in your gutters early can protect an entire house. Below, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can look for (without calling a roof specialist) to determine if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are several warning signs that suggest a gutter leak, even if you don’t physically see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the house might not cause a leak just yet, but will certainly result in problems. Having these defects repaired is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the possible damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If rain is puddling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your home, just in case.
Pooling water around your home can be bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most obvious signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t a big overflow, there is a hidden 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 wiggling their way out of the gutters means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits in starts to become a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as refastening them, but it may 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 purchase this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves behind evidence, especially when it is consistently or frequently present. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic debris stick to the wet surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the product of constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters can be fixed, but if the gutters are rusty, they will definitely need 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 your roof, but you’re starting to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your 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 aging building materials, so all factors should be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is typically an easy fix. It’s probably not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Westfield gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can build a nest in your rain gutters or downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, you will start to see some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your gutter with little debris present. While it may be small now, a tree sapling will sprout really 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 problems with your rain gutter that need to be addressed immediately. By checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Westfield can be helpful. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do simple gutter care, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it is time consuming and dangerous, they are willing to complete the project a couple of times a year to save some money.
However, any job beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like Westfield Gutter Service. Then let us do an inspection to correctly determine the issue. We offer free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any gutter repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time to install new gutters, you can trust us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!