Rain Gutters are so important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help protect your house from major damages.
And it’s a lot easier than you might think.
Spotting a leaking gutter early can protect an entire house. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can look for (without calling a roof specialist) to determine if your gutters may be leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a number of signs that suggest leaking gutters, even if you don’t actually notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the safety of your ground to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it causes stress on the connections. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roof might not be causing a leak yet, but will ultimately result in issues. Having these defects fixed is affordable than installing new gutters or any of the damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If water is puddling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water around your home can be very harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the more noticeable signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak. These tiny leaks can happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters means a leak will start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits becomes 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 could also be important to seal the hole so no water can leak from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially when it is consistently or frequently there. Dark water stains will appear because dirt and other organic materials stick to the moist surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after you see water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters repaired, but if the gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or 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 notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your window sills, you might have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also are related to older building materials, so all factors should be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to home repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty simple fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Bellingham gutter cleaning service – or even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which will cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start seeing some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a 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 mean there are issues with your gutter that must be addressed right away. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is where a gutter service in Bellingham can be helpful. They can distinguish if 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 the only thing that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do simple gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are willing to take on the chore 1-2 times a year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond basic gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Bellingham Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to accurately diagnose the problem. We offer free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any 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 right. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!