Rain Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to protect your home from major damages.
And it’s really a lot simpler than you probably think.
Identifying a gutter leak early can protect your entire house. In this blog post, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to see if your gutters may be leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a number of warning signs that indicate a gutter leak, even if you don’t physically notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the safety of your lawn to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here are some things to look for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the house, it causes stress on the fasteners. 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 might not be causing a leak yet, but these things will ultimately cause problems. Getting these defects fixed is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If water is pooling around your home, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water near your home can be especially bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most obvious signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your 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 an unseen leak. These tiny leaks will happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters likely means a leak will start soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits in starts to become a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as tightening them, but it might also be important to seal the hole so no more water can leak from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is back in place. You can buy this sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially when it is consistently or frequently there. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other debris adhere to the wet surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters can be fixed, but if your 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 beginning to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, decaying wood on your patio 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 go hand in hand with older building materials, so all factors need to be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to home repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty easy fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Fort Wayne gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which can 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 puddling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs indicate there are problems with your gutter that must be addressed immediately. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Fort Wayne can be helpful. They can determine whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do simple gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and dangerous, they are eager to take on the chore 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter service with good customer reviews like Fort Wayne Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to accurately determine the problem. We provide free inspections for new customers.
If there are repairs to be made, or if we believe 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!