Rain Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect valuable home components, like the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help protect your home from major damages.
And it’s really a lot simpler than you might think.
Finding a leaking gutter early can protect your entire home. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few signs that you can be on the lookout for (without calling a roof specialist) to see if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are many signs that indicate a gutter leak, even if you don’t see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it stresses the fasteners. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roofing may not be causing a leak yet, but these things will ultimately result in problems. Having these defects fixed is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the possible damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If water is puddling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water by your house can be especially damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several of them.
A drip from your rain gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak. These tiny leaks will happen 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 means a leak is going to 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 solution is as simple as tightening them, but it could also be necessary to cover the hole so no more water can leak from the edge of the screw or 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 – Water leaves evidence behind, especially if it is consistently or frequently present. Dark water stains will appear because dirt and other organic debris adhere to the wet surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the product of constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters can be fixed, but if your gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on your roof, but you’re beginning to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your porch or deck, or mold on your window sills, you could have a gutter leak.
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 taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is usually an easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Salem gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your rain gutters or 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 pooling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be little now, a sapling will sprout strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs indicate there are issues with your gutter that have to be addressed immediately. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is when a gutter service in Salem can be of great help. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do simple gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it can be time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are willing to take on the chore 1-2 times a year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter service with good customer reviews like Salem Gutter Specialists. Then let us do an inspection to correctly determine the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can count on us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!