If you’re like a lot of people, your gutters are not something you often worry about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is very simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you realize just how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most homes in Naperville. They blend into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … building materials that are meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to create a route of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof quickly. When they’re in good condition, your rain gutters will route runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to repair to be the cause of any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is easy and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a pretty strong clue that your gutters have some kind of damage.
As soon as you notice a gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable fixing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you’d rather hire a gutter service to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the rain runoff away from your home the way they should be. Standing water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas around your home consistently soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or the exterior of your home. Mold and mildew mean there is a lot of moisture in that area – a possible problem with the rain gutters could be to blame. Remember that mildew and mold are more likely to appear on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where they’re appearing, it may just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a time when the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Naperville would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll need to wait until it’s raining to notice this type of gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It might just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned. Either way, you need to have it looked at ASAP.
Based on the design of your home’s basement, your leak might be caused by any number of things. The pooling issue we mentioned earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls can only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so necessary to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters pour directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this water flow to help it disperse into the ground. But, a gutter leak 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 will also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually find water marks under the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that rain water is running down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to identify any damage to the roof, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy tips Naperville Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least once each year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out regularly. As with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the less issues you’ll experience with them.
The best time to clean out gutters is during the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters themselves, but there are many professional gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to handle the work or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the issues we discussed above.
We’d recommend that you do an exterior home inspection following each season to be sure that your gutters are functioning correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing a problem before it becomes too bad can save you 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 issue go on for too long, you might end up making repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.