Gutters are so important because – although they are simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to prevent your home from major damages.
And it’s really much simpler than you probably think.
Finding a gutter leak early can protect the entire house. In this blog post, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are many signs that indicate a gutter leak, even if you don’t notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here are some things to look for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the home, it stresses the fasteners. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the home may not be causing a leak yet, but these things will certainly create issues. Getting these defects fixed is a lot more affordable than replacing gutters or any of the damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If water is puddling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water near your house can be especially 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 of them.
A drip from your gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak. These tiny leaks will occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits starts to become a new area where water can escape if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as refastening them, but it might also be important to cover the hole so no more water can escape from around 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 – Water leaves evidence behind, especially if it is constantly or frequently present. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other organic materials adhere to the wet surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters can be repaired, but if gutters are rusty, they will definitely need 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 top of your roof, but you’re starting to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your porch or deck, or mold on your window sills, you may have leaking gutters.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also are related to aging building materials, so all factors should be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This one is a pretty easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a St Paul gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your gutters or 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 pooling – if you don’t get rid of it.
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 destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs indicate there are problems with your rain gutter that need 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 St Paul can be helpful. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do simple gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are willing to take on the project 1-2 times each year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like St. Paul Gutter Solutions. Then let us do an inspection to correctly determine the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any gutter repairs to be made, or if we feel that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!