Rain Gutters are so important because – while they are simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help protect your house from damages.
And it’s much easier than you might think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect your entire house. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are many signs that indicate leaking gutters, even if you don’t actually notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the safety of your ground to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roofing may not be causing a leak yet, but will certainly result in issues. Having these defects repaired is more affordable than gutter replacement or any of the damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If rain is puddling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is close to your house, just to be sure.
Pooling water by your house can be really bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most visible signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several of them.
A drip from your rain gutter is likely 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 somewhere. These minor leaks will occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working 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 in starts to become a new area where water can escape if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as refastening them, but it might also be necessary to cover the hole so no more water can escape from around the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves behind evidence, especially when it is consistently or frequently present. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other organic materials adhere to the wet surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the result of constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after you see water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters repaired, but if the gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or 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, decaying wood on your porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you might have a gutter leak.
These are all indications 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 factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty simple fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Royal Oak 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 also 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 it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be small now, a sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs indicate there are problems with your rain gutter that must be addressed right away. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Royal Oak can be helpful. They can determine whether gutter replacement is necessary 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.
Homeowners can decide to do simple gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it is time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are willing to take on the chore a couple of times each year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond basic gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Renew Gutter Cleaning. Then let us do an inspection to correctly determine the problem. We offer free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we feel that it’s time to install new gutters, 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!