Gutters are really important because – although they are simple and inexpensive – they protect valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to protect your home from major damages.
And it’s much simpler than you might think.
Finding a leaking gutter early can protect the entire house. Here, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without hiring a roofer) to determine if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are a number of signs that indicate a gutter leak, even if you don’t actually notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the lawn to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here are some things to look for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the roof, it causes stress on the connections. Cracks can be caused by poor installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the home might not be causing a leak just yet, but these things will certainly create issues. Getting these defects fixed is affordable than installing new gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If water is pooling around your home, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your house, just in case.
Pooling water near your home can be very harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is an unseen leak. These minor leaks can happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling 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 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 important to seal the hole so no more water can leak from the edge of the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially if it is constantly or frequently present. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other organic materials stick to the moist surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the result of nearly 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 your 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 limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re starting to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, rotting wood on your porch or deck, or mold on your window sills, you could have a gutter leak.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t be. They also go hand in hand with aging building materials, so all factors need to be taken into account 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 usually an easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that needs to be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Buffalo gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk, or other pest can build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, 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 the nest.
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 damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs mean there are problems with your rain gutter that have to be addressed immediately. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Buffalo can be of great help. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do simple gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are ready to complete the chore a couple of times a year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond basic gutter cleaning should be left to professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like Better Buffalo Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately determine the problem. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are repairs to be made, or if we think 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!