Gutters are so important because – while they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home investments, like the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help protect your home from major damages.
And it’s much easier than you probably think.
Finding a leak in your gutters early can protect an entire house. Here, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roof specialist) to see if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a number of warning signs that suggest a gutter leak, even if you don’t actually see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roofing might not be causing a leak yet, but these things will ultimately lead to issues. Getting these defects repaired is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the potential damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If rain is pooling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your home, just to be careful.
Pooling water by your home can be especially bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most obvious signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your rain gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is an unseen leak somewhere. These minor leaks can occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as tightening them, but it might also be necessary to cover the hole so no water can leak from around the screw or the 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 – Moisture leaves behind evidence, especially when it is constantly or frequently there. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other organic debris adhere to the wet surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after water stains. Most water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters can be fixed, but if gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to see 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 signs that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t be. They also are related to older building materials, so all of these factors need to be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to major repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty easy fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that needs to be removed. You can do this or hire a Montgomery gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can build a nest in your rain gutters or in your downspout, which will cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, 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 take root in your 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 know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs indicate there are issues with your rain gutter that need to 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 when a professional gutter service in Montgomery can be of great help. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is required 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.
Homeowners can choose to do basic gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and dangerous, they are ready to take on the chore 1-2 times a year to save some money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter service with good customer reviews like Montgomery Gutter Service. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately diagnose the problem. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!