Gutters are really important because – although they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home investments, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help prevent your house from damages.
And it’s much simpler than you might think.
Identifying a leaking gutter early can protect the entire home. Here, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can look for (without calling a roofer) to see if your gutters may be leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a number of signs that indicate leaking gutters, even if you don’t notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the lawn to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here are some things to look for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the home, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roofing may not be causing a leak yet, but will definitely result in issues. Getting these defects fixed is affordable than installing new gutters or any of the damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If rain is pooling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check pipes, water spigots and any water source that is close to your home, just in case.
Pooling water by your house can be really bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most obvious signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak. These tiny leaks can happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
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 get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as refastening them, but it may also be necessary to seal the hole so no more water can leak from around the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves evidence behind, especially if it is constantly or frequently present. Dark water stains will appear because dirt and other debris stick to the wet surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the result of constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters repaired, but if the gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or be 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 starting to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, decaying 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 factors should be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to home repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is typically an easy fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that has to be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Spokane Valley 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 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 the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your rain gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be little now, a sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs indicate there are problems with your gutter that have to be addressed right away. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a gutter service in Spokane Valley can be helpful. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the lifetime of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do simple gutter care, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it is time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are ready to complete the chore 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like Spokane Valley Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to correctly diagnose the problem. We provide free inspections for new customers.
If there are 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 right. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!