Gutters are important because – although they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home components, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help protect your house from damages.
And it’s really a lot simpler than you probably think.
Spotting a leak in your gutters early can protect your entire home. Below, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roof specialist) to see if your gutters may be leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are many warning signs that point to a leaking gutter, even if you don’t actually notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here’s what to look for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the home, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, low quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roofing may not cause a leak just yet, but will definitely lead to problems. Having these defects fixed is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the possible damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If rain is puddling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your home, just in case.
Pooling water by your home can be very harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the more noticeable signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your rain gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak somewhere. These tiny leaks will happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits starts to become a new area where water can escape if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as refastening them, but it might also be important to seal the hole so no water can leak from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves behind evidence, especially when it is consistently or frequently there. Dark water stains will appear because dirt and other organic debris adhere to the moist surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after water stains. water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters can be repaired, but if the gutters are rusty, they definitely have to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, rotting 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 somewhere it shouldn’t be. They also are related to aging building materials, so all of these 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 issue.
Rain Overflow – This one is usually an easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that has to be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Mount Prospect gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start seeing some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be small now, a sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs mean there are problems with your rain gutter that need to be addressed immediately. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a gutter service in Mount Prospect 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 the only thing that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do basic gutter care, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are willing to take on the chore a couple of times each year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Mount Prospect Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately determine 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 to install new gutters, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!