Rain Gutters are very important because – while they are simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home investments, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help protect your house from major damages.
And it’s really much simpler than you probably think.
Spotting a gutter leak early can protect your entire home. Here, 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 Gutter Leak
There are a number of signs that suggest leaking gutters, even if you don’t notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the lawn to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the house, it causes stress on the connectors. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the house might not cause a leak yet, but these things will definitely create issues. Having these defects fixed is much more affordable than installing new gutters or any of the damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If rain is puddling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your home, just in case.
Pooling water near your home can be damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most obvious signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak. These small leaks will happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits in starts to become 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 cover the hole so no more water can escape 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 present. Dark water stains will appear because dirt and other organic materials adhere to the moist surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the result of 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 gutters are rusty, they will definitely need 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 your roof, but you’re beginning to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you could have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also are related to older building materials, so all of these 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 leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is typically an easy fix. It’s probably not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this or hire a Naperville gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can quickly build a nest in your gutters or in your 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 the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your rain gutter with little debris present. While it may be little now, a tree 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 must be addressed right away. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a gutter service in Naperville can be of great help. They can determine if gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the lifetime of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do basic gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are eager to take on the project 1-2 times a year to save some money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Naperville Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to correctly diagnose the problem. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can count on us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!