Gutters are really important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home investments, like the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help prevent your house from major damages.
And it’s much easier than you might think.
Finding a leaking gutter early can protect an entire home. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a lot of signs that point to leaking gutters, even if you don’t physically notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here are some things to look for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the home, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be caused by poor installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the home might not cause a leak just yet, but these things will definitely cause issues. Getting these defects fixed is affordable than installing new gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If rain is pooling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your house, just to be sure.
Pooling water by your home can be really damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These minor leaks can occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as tightening them, but it could also be important to cover the hole so no water can escape from the edge of the screw or nail, even after it is back in place. You can buy 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 appear because dirt and other materials stick to the wet surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the result of constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters can be fixed, but if the gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on your roof, but you’re beginning to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, decaying 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 are related to older building materials, so all factors should be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to home repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that has to be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Fremont gutter cleaning service – or even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can quickly build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start seeing some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs indicate there are problems with your rain gutter that have to be addressed right away. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a gutter service in Fremont can be helpful. They can determine if 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 all that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do basic gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are willing to take on the project a couple of times a year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Fremont Gutter Service. Then let us do an inspection to accurately diagnose the issue. We offer free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any gutter 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 can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!