Gutters are important because – while they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home investments, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help prevent your house from damages.
And it’s really a lot simpler than you might think.
Finding a gutter leak early can protect the entire home. Here, we’ve listed a few signs that you can look for (without hiring a roofer) to determine if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a lot of warning signs that suggest a gutter leak, even if you don’t see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the home, it stresses the fasteners. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roofing might not cause a leak yet, but these things will definitely lead to problems. Having these defects fixed is affordable than installing new gutters or any of the damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If rain is pooling around your home, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check pipes, water spigots and any water source that is close to your house, just to be careful.
Pooling water around your home can be especially bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the more noticeable signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several of them.
A drip from your rain gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t a big overflow, there is a hidden leak. These tiny leaks can occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can escape if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as refastening them, but it can also be necessary to cover the hole so no more water can escape from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is back in place. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially if it is constantly or frequently present. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other organic debris adhere to the wet surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after you see water stains. water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters fixed, but if the gutters are rusty, they 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 limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re starting to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you could have a gutter leak.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also go hand in hand with older building materials, so all of these factors should be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is typically an easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that has to be removed. You can do this or hire a Elk Grove 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 cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, you will start seeing some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs indicate there are issues with your gutter that need to be addressed immediately. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Elk Grove can be helpful. They can determine if gutter replacement is necessary 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 basic gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are eager to complete the project 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, anything beyond gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like Elk Grove Gutter Service. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately diagnose the problem. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are 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 right. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!