Rain Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home components, like the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to protect your home from major damages.
And it’s really a lot simpler than you might think.
Finding a gutter leak early can protect your entire house. Here, we’ve listed a few signs that you can look for (without calling a roofer) to determine if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a number of signs that suggest a leaking gutter, even if you don’t physically see water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the safety of your lawn to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the home, it causes stress on the connections. Cracks can be the result of poor installation, low quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the house may not cause a leak just yet, but these things will certainly cause issues. Having these defects repaired is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the possible damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If water is pooling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your house, just to be careful.
Pooling water near your house can be especially harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most obvious signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These small leaks will occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as tightening them, but it could also be necessary to seal the hole so no water can escape from around the screw or nail, even after it is back in place. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves behind evidence, especially if it is constantly or frequently there. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other debris stick to the wet surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters repaired, but if your gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on your roof, but you’re starting to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, decaying wood on your porch or deck, or mold on your window sills, you could have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t be. They also go hand in hand with aging building materials, so all of these factors should be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to home repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty simple fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that has to be removed. You can do this or hire a Loveland gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can build a nest in your rain gutters or in your downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, you will start seeing 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 take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs indicate there are issues with your rain gutter that have to be addressed right away. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a gutter service in Loveland can be helpful. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen 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 it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are eager to take on the project 1-2 times a year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like LikeNew Loveland Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to correctly diagnose the problem. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any gutter 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 will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!