7 Signs of Gutter Damage on Your Home
If you’re like most people, your rain gutters aren’t something you often worry about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but besides that, their functionality is very simple.
It’s not until rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most homes in Overland Park. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner has opted for copper or wood … materials that are definitely meant to stand out! Most are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of gutters is to provide a route of least resistance for rain to get off your roof. When they are in good shape, your rain gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaks, and the gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to fix to be the reason for major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following signs, it’s a pretty good indication that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you identify a possible gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you should call a gutter specialist to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the rain runoff away from your house the way they are supposed to. Pooling water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas surrounding your home perpetually wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or the exterior of your home. Mold and mildew mean that there is too much moisture around that area – a potential issue with the rain gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mildew and mold are more likely to appear on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where they’re growing, it might just be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight on it. This is a situation when the advice and expertise of a professional in Overland Park would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll have to wait until it’s raining to find this type of gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned out. In either case, you want to have it looked at ASAP.
Depending on the construction of your basement, the leaking might be caused by any number of things. The standing water issue we mentioned earlier could definitely result in a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so necessary to keep your gutters in good shape!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters pour directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be designed to work with this water flow to help it disperse into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This standing rain water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You will usually find water marks right beneath the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that water is pouring down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is the easiest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they obviously have damage. Following a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your home to identify any possible damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to any standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a few easy tips Overland Park Gutters recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time each year. You can extend the time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you maintain your gutters, the less problems you’ll have with them.
The optimal time to clean gutters is in the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the mess or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the problems we wrote about above.
We’d recommend that you complete an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to ensure 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 easily be replaced very affordably.
But, if you let the issue go on too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.