Gutters are really important because – while they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home components, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning gutters is an easy way to prevent your home from major damages.
And it’s a lot easier than you probably think.
Finding a gutter leak early can protect an entire home. In this blog post, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without calling a roofer) to see if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are a number of warning signs that point to leaking gutters, even if you don’t actually see water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the lawn to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the house, it causes stress on the fasteners. Cracks can be caused by poor installation, low quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the house might not cause a leak just yet, but these things will ultimately cause issues. Having these defects repaired is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If water is puddling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your house, just to be careful.
Pooling water by your home can be very bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most obvious signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several of them.
A drip from your gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These small leaks will occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working their way out of the gutters likely means a leak will start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as refastening them, but it could also be necessary to cover the hole so no more water can escape from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is back in place. You can buy this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves evidence behind, especially if it is constantly or frequently present. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other organic materials adhere to the moist surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the result of constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters can be fixed, but if the gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you may have leaking gutters.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t be. They also are related to aging building materials, so all factors should be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to home repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This one is a pretty easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that has to be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Spokane gutter cleaning service – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can quickly build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which will also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, you will start seeing some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be small 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 problems with your gutter that need to be addressed right away. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Spokane can be of great help. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do basic gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are ready to complete the chore a couple of times each year to save some money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Spokane Gutters Plus. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately diagnose the issue. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we feel that it’s time to install new gutters, you can trust us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!