If you’re like many homeowners, your gutters aren’t something you really think about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you realize just how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most roofs in Fort Wayne. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … materials that are designed to stand out! Most are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to create a path of least resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof quickly. When they are in good condition, your gutters will lead runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the foundation and basement from leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from rust.
When they are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to repair to be the cause of any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a pretty good indication that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
Once you find a gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying by yourself or if it’s a project you’d rather call a gutter specialist to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the rain runoff away from your home the way they are designed to. Standing water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the areas surrounding your home perpetually soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or the exterior of your home. Mold and mildew mean that there is excessive moisture around that area – a potential problem with the rain gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mold and mildew are more likely to grow on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where they’re appearing, it may just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight on it. This is a scenario when the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Fort Wayne would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will have to wait until it’s raining to look for this type of gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. It might just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned. In either case, you want to have it looked at ASAP.
Depending on the design of your basement, your leak might be caused by any number of things. The standing water issue we discussed earlier could definitely result in a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls can only keep out so much water. That’s why it is 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 designed to work with this flow of water to help it disperse into the ground. But, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This standing rain water can destroy plants either by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You will usually see water marks beneath the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that rain water is pouring down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is by far the simplest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to identify any possible damage to the roof shingles, outer walls, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to any standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of easy ways Fort Wayne Gutters recommends to help 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. Like with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the fewer issues you’ll experience with them.
The recommended time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners choose to clean their gutters on their own, but there are professional gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to handle the work or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a fast 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 after each season to ensure that your gutters are functioning the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of an issue 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.
But, if you let the issue go on for too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.