If you’re like most people, your rain gutters are not something you often think about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but besides that, 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 houses in Loveland. They fade into the exterior unless the homeowner has opted for copper or wood … building materials that are designed to stand out! Most are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to provide a path of least resistance for rain to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they are in good condition, your rain gutters will lead runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaks, and the gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to fix to be the cause of any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you notice any of the following issues, it’s a pretty strong indication that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you notice a possible gutter problem, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s a project you should hire a gutter repairman to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the rain runoff away from your house the way they are supposed to. Standing water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, 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 sides of your home. Mold and mildew mean that there is too much moisture in that area – a potential issue with the gutters could be to blame. Remember that mildew and mold are likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are appearing, it might be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight on it. This is a scenario when the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Loveland would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll have to wait until it’s actually raining to discover this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It might just be that the gutter is full of debris and needs to be cleaned. In either case, you want to have it looked at right away.
Based on the construction of your basement, your leak could be caused by any number of things. The pooling issue we discussed earlier could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in working order!
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 disperse into the ground. However, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This pooling rain water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed building materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are the first sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually see water marks beneath the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that water is streaming down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is the simplest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to assess 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 few easy ways LikeNew Loveland Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least one time each year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. Like with anything else, the better you maintain your gutters, the fewer issues you’ll experience with them.
The best time to clean out gutters is during the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners choose to clean their gutters themselves, but there are professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the mess or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. A quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the signs we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection after each season to be sure that your gutters are working the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing a problem before it becomes too bad can save you a lot of time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can be replaced very affordably.
But, if you let the problem go on for too long, you might end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.