Rain Gutters are really important because – although they are simple and inexpensive – they protect valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help prevent your home from major damages.
And it’s much simpler than you probably think.
Identifying a leaking gutter early can protect the entire home. In this blog post, we’ve listed a few signs 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 Gutter Leak
There are several signs that point to a gutter leak, even if you don’t physically notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the safety of your ground to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the home, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, low quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roof may not cause a leak yet, but will certainly lead to issues. Having these defects fixed is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If water is puddling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your house, just to be careful.
Pooling water near your house can be bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the more noticeable signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several of them.
A drip from your gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These tiny leaks can occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working their way out of the gutters means a leak will start soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as refastening them, but it might also be important to cover the hole so no water can leak from around the screw or nail, even after it is back in place. You can purchase this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves evidence behind, especially when it is consistently or frequently present. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other materials stick to the moist surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the product of constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after you see water stains. Most water stains can be cleaned and the gutters repaired, but if gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a 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 patio or deck, or mold on your window sills, you could have a gutter leak.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also are related to older building materials, so all factors should be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is a pretty easy fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Lansing gutter cleaning service – or even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can quickly build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which will cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start to see some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a sapling will sprout really strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs mean there are issues with your rain gutter that have to be addressed right away. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Lansing can be helpful. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do simple gutter care, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are ready to complete the chore a couple of times each year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter service with good customer reviews like Lansing Gutters Unlimited. Then let us do an inspection to correctly determine 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 for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!