Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help prevent your home from damages.
And it’s really much easier than you probably think.
Spotting a gutter leak early can protect the entire house. Below, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are a lot of signs that point to leaking gutters, even if you don’t physically see 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’s what to look for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the house, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be the result of poor installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roof may not be causing a leak yet, but these things will certainly lead to issues. Getting these defects repaired is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If rain is pooling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your home, just to be careful.
Pooling water near your house can be especially bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the more noticeable signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several of them.
A drip from your gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These small leaks will happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws working their way out of the gutters likely means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits starts to become a new area where water can get out if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as refastening them, but it may also be necessary to cover the hole so no water can leak from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially if it is consistently or frequently there. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other organic debris adhere to the wet surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the result of constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after water stains. Most water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters fixed, but if gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, rotting wood on your porch or deck, or mold on your window sills, you may have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t be. They also are related to aging building materials, so all 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 gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is typically an easy fix. It’s probably not a gutter leak, but a clog that needs to be removed. You can do this or hire a Overland Park gutter cleaning service – 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 rain gutters or in your downspout, which can also 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 easily take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs indicate there are problems with your rain gutter that need to be addressed immediately. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a cause for concern.
This is where a gutter service in Overland Park 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 gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do simple gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it is time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are willing to take on the project 1-2 times each year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like Overland Park Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to correctly diagnose the issue. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can count on us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!