If you are like most people, your gutters aren’t something you often worry about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their purpose is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you realize how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most homes in Lynchburg. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner preferred copper or wood … building materials that are meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to create a route of least resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they are in good condition, your gutters will route runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaks, and the rain gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to repair to be the cause of any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a pretty strong clue that your gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you identify a gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you’d rather trust a gutter service for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the rain runoff away from your home the way they are supposed to. Standing water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. And, it will make the areas surrounding your home perpetually soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or the exterior of your home. Mold and mildew indicate there is a lot of moisture around that area – a potential issue with the rain gutters could be to blame. Remember that mold and mildew are likely to appear on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it might be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight on it. This is a time when the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Lynchburg would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s actually raining to notice this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and should be cleaned out. Either way, you need to have it checked ASAP.
Depending on the design of your basement, the leaking might be caused by any number of things. The pooling issue we mentioned before could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in good condition!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters pour directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be designed to work with this water flow to help it submerge into the ground. However, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You usually see water marks under the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that rain water is running down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is by far the easiest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to identify any damage to the roof shingles, outer walls, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of simple ways Lynchburg Gutters recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time each year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the less problems you’ll experience with them.
The best time to clean gutters is during the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a 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 work or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the issues we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection following each season to be sure that your gutters are functioning correctly.
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 be replaced very affordably and quickly.
But, if you let the issue go on too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.