Gutters are really important because – although they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home investments, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to prevent your home from major damages.
And it’s a lot simpler than you might think.
Spotting a gutter leak early can protect the entire house. Below, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without calling a roof specialist) to determine if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a number of warning signs that point to leaking gutters, even if you don’t physically see water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the home, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the house may not be causing a leak just yet, but these things will ultimately result in issues. Having these defects repaired is much more affordable than gutter replacement or any of the damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If water is pooling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your house, just to be careful.
Pooling water around your house can be really bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the more noticeable signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your rain gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak somewhere. These tiny leaks can 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 rain gutters means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits starts to become a new area where water can get out if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as tightening them, but it may also be necessary 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 buy this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves behind evidence, especially if it is constantly or frequently there. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other debris adhere to the moist surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the result of constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after water stains. water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters repaired, but if gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on your roof, but you’re beginning to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, decaying wood on your porch or deck, or mold on your window sills, you may have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also are related to aging building materials, so all factors need to be factored in 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 may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty simple fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Schenectady gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which will cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, you will start to see some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be small now, a sapling will sprout strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs indicate there are problems with your rain gutter that must be addressed right away. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Schenectady 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 home’s gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do basic gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time-consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are eager to take on the chore a couple of times each year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to professionals.
Start by calling a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like All Pro Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately diagnose the problem. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time for gutter replacement, 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!