Rain Gutters are really important because – while they are simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help prevent your house from damages.
And it’s a lot easier than you might think.
Finding a gutter leak early can protect an entire house. Below, we’ve listed a few signs that you can look for (without calling a roof specialist) to see if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are many signs that point to a leaking gutter, even if you don’t actually notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the safety of your lawn to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the home, it causes stress on the fasteners. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roofing may not be causing a leak yet, but will definitely result in problems. Having these defects fixed is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the possible damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If water is puddling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your home, just in case.
Pooling water around your home can be especially damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most visible signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These tiny leaks will occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak will 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 escape if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as refastening them, but it can also be important to seal the hole so no water can escape from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is back in place. You can purchase this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves behind evidence, especially if it is consistently or frequently present. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other materials stick to the moist surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the result of constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters can be fixed, but if gutters are rusty, they definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on your roof, but you’re starting to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, rotting wood on your porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you could have a gutter leak.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t be. They also go hand in hand with older building materials, so all factors need to be taken into account 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 issue is typically an easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Perth Amboy gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your rain gutters or downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start seeing 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 easily take root in your rain gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs indicate there are problems with your gutter that have to be addressed right away. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a gutter service in Perth Amboy can be helpful. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do simple gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and dangerous, they are willing to take on the project 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning is best left to professionals.
Start by calling a gutter service with good customer reviews like TLC Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately determine the problem. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are repairs to be made, or if we believe 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!