If you’re like a lot of homeowners, your gutters aren’t something you really think about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is incredibly simple.
It’s not until gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most roofs in Beaverton. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner preferred copper or wood … materials that are definitely designed to stand out! Most are crafted from durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of gutters is to create a path of least resistance for rain to get off your roof quickly. When they’re in good condition, your gutters will route 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 gutters are damaged, it can cause 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 cause of any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following signs, it’s a good indication that your gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you notice a gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable fixing or remedying on your own or if it’s a project you should trust a gutter service for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the water runoff away from your home the way they are designed to. Pooling water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas surrounding your home consistently wet 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 indicate that there is excessive moisture in that area – a potential problem with the gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mold and mildew are likely to grow on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where they’re appearing, it may be because that area gets very little direct sunlight on it. This is a situation where the advice and knowledge of a professional in Beaverton would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll need to wait until it’s raining to look for this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that you have gutter damage. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned out. Either way, you want to have it looked at right away.
Depending on the construction of your basement, your leak might be due to any number of things. The standing water problem we discussed before could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls can only block out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. However, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it isn’t supposed to. This pooling rain water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually see water marks right under the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a usually an indication that rain water is pouring down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is the easiest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your house to assess any possible damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to any routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some simple ways Better Beaverton Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once each year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out regularly. Like with anything else, the better you care for your rain gutters, the fewer issues you’ll have with them.
The optimal time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners clean their gutters themselves, but there are local gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the mess or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the signs we discussed above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to ensure that your gutters are functioning properly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing an issue before it becomes too bad can save you time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can be replaced very affordably and quickly.
However, if you let the problem go on too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.