Rain Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning gutters is an easy way to protect your home from damages.
And it’s a lot simpler than you probably think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect your entire home. Below, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can look for (without calling a roof specialist) to determine if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a number of signs that point to leaking gutters, even if you don’t physically notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the lawn to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here are some things to look for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the house, it causes stress on the connectors. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roof may not be causing a leak yet, but these things will definitely create problems. Having these defects repaired is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If water is puddling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your house, just to be sure.
Pooling water around your home can be really damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most visible signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several of them.
A drip from your rain gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t a big overflow, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These tiny leaks will occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters means a leak will start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits in starts to become a new area where water can escape if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as refastening them, but it might also be necessary to seal the hole so no more water can escape from the edge of the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially when it is constantly or frequently there. Dark water stains will appear because dirt and other debris adhere to the wet surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after you see water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters can be repaired, but if the gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a 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 around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your window sills, you could have a gutter leak.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also are related to aging 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 gutter issues, a leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is a pretty simple fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that has to be removed. You can do this or hire a Columbus gutter cleaning service – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, you will start seeing some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your rain gutter with little debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs mean 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 cause for concern.
This is when a gutter service in Columbus can be of great help. They can determine whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the lifetime of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do basic gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are eager to complete the project a couple of times each year to save some money.
However, anything beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like The Columbus Gutter Company. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately determine the problem. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time to install new gutters, 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!