If you are like a lot of homeowners, your rain gutters aren’t something you often worry about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is very simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand just how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most roofs in Fremont. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner has opted for copper or wood … building materials that are definitely designed to stand out! Most are crafted from durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of rain gutters is to provide a path of minimal resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof. When they’re in good condition, your rain gutters will route runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaks, and the gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to repair to be the cause of any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following signs, it’s a pretty strong indication that your gutters have some type of damage.
Once you find a gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s a project you should hire a gutter specialist for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the water runoff away from your house the way they should be. Standing water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas around your home perpetually wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or on the exterior of your house. Mold and mildew indicate that there is a lot of moisture in that area – a potential problem with the rain gutters could be the cause. Remember that mold and mildew are likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are appearing, it may just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight on it. This is a time where the advice and expertise of a professional in Fremont would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s actually raining to notice this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned. In either case, you need to have it looked at ASAP.
Depending on the construction of your home’s basement, your leak might be due to any number of things. The standing water issue we discussed earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls can only block out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters empty directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be designed to work with this flow of water to help it disperse into the ground. However, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it isn’t supposed to. This rain water can destroy plants either by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually find water marks right beneath the rain gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that rain water is running down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to identify any damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy tips Fremont Gutter Service recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least one time each year. You can extend the time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out regularly. As with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the fewer problems you’ll experience with them.
The recommended time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are local gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to handle the work or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the issues we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection following each season to confirm that your gutters are working correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of an issue before it becomes too bad can save you a lot of time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can be replaced very affordably.
But, if you let the problem go on for too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.