Are Your Gutters Leaking?
Gutters are really important because – although they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help protect your house from damages.
And it’s a lot simpler than you probably think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect an entire home. Below, we’ve listed a few signs that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if your gutters may be leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are many signs that indicate leaking gutters, even if you don’t 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 gutters start to pull away from the house, it stresses the fasteners. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roofing might not be causing a leak just yet, but will definitely lead to problems. Having these defects fixed is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If water 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 near your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water around your house can be especially damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most obvious 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 an unseen leak somewhere. These tiny leaks can occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as refastening them, but it can also be important to seal the hole so no more water can escape from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this 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 there. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other organic debris adhere to the wet surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters fixed, but if your gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re starting to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you might have a gutter leak.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t be. They also go hand in hand with older building materials, so all factors need to be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a leak may not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty simple fix. It’s probably not a gutter leak, but a clog that has to be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Beaverton gutter cleaning company – or 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 in your downspout, which will also 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 rain gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be small now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can destroy 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 immediately. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Beaverton can be helpful. They can determine if gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the lifetime of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do basic gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it is time consuming and dangerous, they are eager to take on the project a couple of times a year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to professionals.
Start by calling a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like Better Beaverton Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to accurately diagnose the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we feel 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!