If you’re like most people, your rain gutters aren’t something you really worry about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but besides that, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you realize just how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most homes in Elk Grove. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner has opted for copper or wood … building materials that are definitely designed to stand out! Most are crafted from durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of rain gutters is to create a route of least resistance for rain to get off your roof quickly. When they’re in good condition, your gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from rust.
When they are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to fix to be the reason for any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is easy and safe. If you identify any of the following signs, it’s a pretty strong indication that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you notice a possible gutter problem, you can decide whether it’s something you feel comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you should hire a gutter service to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the water runoff away from your house the way they should be. Pooling water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas surrounding your house consistently soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or the sides of your home. Mold and mildew indicate that there is a lot of moisture in that area – a possible issue with the rain gutters could be the cause. Keep in mind that mildew and mold are likely to grow on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it might just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight on it. This is a time when the advice and knowledge of a professional in Elk Grove would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will have to wait until it’s actually raining to notice this type of gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It might just be that the gutter is full of debris and needs to be cleaned. Either way, you want to have it looked at right away.
Based on the design of your basement, the leaking could be due to any number of things. The pooling issue we discussed earlier could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters pour directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this water flow to help it disperse 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 standing water can destroy plants either by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually see water marks right under the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a usually an indication that rain water is streaming down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is the simplest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they have damage. Following a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to identify any possible damage to the roof shingles, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to any standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy ways Elk Grove Gutter Service recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least once each year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out regularly. As with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the less issues you’ll experience with them.
The recommended 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 choose to clean their gutters themselves, but there are many professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to handle the mess or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. A quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the signs we discussed above.
We’d recommend that you complete an exterior home inspection following each season to confirm that your gutters are functioning the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of a problem 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 easily be replaced very affordably and quickly.
However, if you let the issue go on for too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.