If you’re like most homeowners, your rain gutters are not something you really think about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand just how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most roofs in Montgomery. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … building materials that are definitely meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to create a route of least resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof. When they are in good condition, your gutters will lead runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaks, and the rain gutters themselves from wear and 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 reason for any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s a pretty good clue that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you identify a gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you’d rather hire a gutter service to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water near your home is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the water runoff away from your home the way they should be. Standing water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas surrounding your home perpetually wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or the sides of your home. Mold and mildew mean that there is excessive moisture around that area – a potential issue with the gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind 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 be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a scenario where the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Montgomery would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll have to wait until it’s raining to look for 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 out. Either way, you need to have it looked at right away.
Depending on the construction of your home’s basement, the leaking could be due to any number of things. The pooling problem we mentioned earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is so necessary to keep your gutters in good condition!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters pour directly onto the groundmost of the time, and landscaping should be designed to work with this water flow to help it submerge into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it isn’t supposed to. This water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually find water marks under the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that water is pouring down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is by far the easiest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to identify any possible damage to the roof, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to any routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a few simple tips Montgomery Gutter Service recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time each year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you maintain your gutters, the fewer issues you’ll have with them.
The recommended time to clean gutters is during the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners choose to clean their gutters on their own, but there are professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to handle the mess or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. A fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the problems we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection following each season to confirm that your gutters are functioning correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing 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 easily be replaced very affordably.
However, if you let the problem go on for too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.