If you are like a lot of people, your gutters aren’t something you really worry about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but besides that, their functionality is very simple.
It’s not until rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most homes in Perth Amboy. They blend into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … building materials that are designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to provide a route of least resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof. When they’re in good shape, your rain gutters will direct runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaks, and the gutters themselves from rust.
When they are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to fix to be the reason for major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is easy and safe. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s a pretty strong clue that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
Once you identify a gutter problem, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you should trust a gutter service for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the rain runoff away from your home the way they should be. Pooling water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the areas surrounding your house perpetually soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or the sides of your house. Mold and mildew mean that there is too much moisture in that area – a potential issue with the rain gutters could be to blame. Remember that mildew and mold are more likely to grow on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where they’re growing, it may just be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a situation where the advice and expertise of a professional in Perth Amboy would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will have to wait until it’s raining to notice this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned. Either way, you need to have it looked at right away.
Depending on the design of your home’s basement, the leaking could be due to any number of things. The standing water issue we discussed earlier could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in good shape!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters empty directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this water flow to help it submerge into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This standing water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually find water marks right under the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign 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 simplest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. After a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to identify any possible damage to the roof shingles, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a few easy ways TLC Gutters recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once a year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. Like with anything else, the better you care for your rain gutters, the less problems you’ll experience with them.
The optimal time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters themselves, but there are many professional gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to handle the mess or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. A fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the problems we wrote about above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection after each season to confirm that your gutters are working the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing 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 easily be replaced very affordably and quickly.
However, if you let the problem go on for too long, you might end up making repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.