Gutters are important because – although they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help prevent your house from major damages.
And it’s much easier than you probably think.
Finding a gutter leak early can protect your entire house. In this blog post, we’ve listed a few signs that you can look for (without hiring a roofer) to see if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are several warning signs that point to a leaking gutter, even if you don’t physically notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the safety of your lawn to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the home, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the house might not cause a leak yet, but these things will definitely result in problems. Getting these defects fixed is more affordable than gutter replacement or any of the possible damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If rain is puddling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any water source that is close to your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water by your home can be very damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most visible signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your rain gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These tiny leaks can happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole 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 solution is as simple as tightening them, but it may also be necessary to cover the hole so no water can leak from around the screw or the nail, even after it is back in place. You can buy this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves behind evidence, especially when it is constantly or frequently present. Dark water stains will appear because dirt and other debris adhere to the wet surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after water stains. Most water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters repaired, but if your gutters are rusty, they definitely have to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on your roof, but you’re beginning to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you could have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t be. They also are related to older building materials, so all factors should be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is usually an easy fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that has to be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Smyrna gutter cleaning service – or even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which will also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start seeing some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your gutter with little debris present. While it may be small now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs mean there are issues with your gutter that must be addressed immediately. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Smyrna can be of great help. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do basic gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are eager to take on the chore a couple of times a year to save some money.
However, anything beyond simple gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like Smyrna Gutter Service. Then let us do an inspection to accurately determine the problem. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time to install new gutters, you can count on us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!