Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to prevent your house from major damages.
And it’s really a lot easier than you might think.
Spotting a gutter leak early can protect an entire house. Below, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can look for (without calling a roofer) to see if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are several signs that point to a leaking gutter, even if you don’t actually notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to look for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the house, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be caused by poor 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 house may not be causing a leak yet, but will ultimately lead to problems. Getting these defects fixed is much more affordable than installing new gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If water is puddling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your house, just in case.
Pooling water near your home can be very damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most visible signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your rain gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is an unseen leak somewhere. These minor leaks will happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws working their way out of the gutters means a leak will start 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 starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as refastening them, but it might also be important to cover the hole so no water can escape 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 apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially when it is consistently or frequently there. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic materials adhere to the moist surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after you see water stains. Most water stains can be cleaned and the gutters can be repaired, but if your gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on your roof, but you’re starting to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you might have leaking gutters.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t be. They also are related to aging 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 may not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that has to be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Carmel gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can quickly build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which will cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start to see some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
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 really strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs mean there are issues with your rain gutter that need to be addressed right away. 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 Carmel can be of great help. They can determine whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do basic gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are ready to take on the project a couple of times a year to save some money.
However, any job beyond gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter service with good customer reviews like Carmel Gutter Specialists. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately determine the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time to install new gutters, 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!