Gutters are important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home investments, like the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help protect your house from damages.
And it’s really much simpler than you probably think.
Spotting a leaking gutter early can protect the entire house. Here, we’ve listed a few signs that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roof specialist) to see if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a lot 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 decide if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here’s what to look for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the house, it stresses the fasteners. Cracks can be the result of poor installation, low quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the home might not cause a leak yet, but these things will certainly cause problems. Having these defects repaired is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the possible damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If rain is pooling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your home, just to be careful.
Pooling water by your house can be really harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most obvious signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your rain gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak. These minor leaks will occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws working their way out of the gutters means a leak is going to start soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can escape if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as tightening them, but it might also be important to cover the hole so no more water can escape from around the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves behind evidence, especially when it is consistently or frequently present. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other organic materials stick to the wet surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after water stains. water stains can be cleaned and the gutters repaired, but if your gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on your roof, but you’re starting to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, decaying wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your window sills, you might have a gutter leak.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t be. They also go hand in hand with aging building materials, so all factors need to be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a gutter leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is typically an easy fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that has to be removed. You can do this or hire a Lynchburg gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your rain gutters or in your downspout, which will also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there a while, you will start to see some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your gutter with small amounts of 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 visible signs indicate there are problems with your gutter that have to be addressed right away. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a cause for concern.
This is where a gutter service in Lynchburg can be of great help. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do basic gutter care, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it can be time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are eager to complete the project 1-2 times a year to save some money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter service with good customer reviews like Lynchburg Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately diagnose the issue. We provide free inspections for new customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we feel that it’s time for gutter replacement, 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!