If you are like most people, your gutters are not something you often think about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you understand just how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most roofs in Smyrna. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … building materials that are designed to stand out! Most are crafted from durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of rain gutters is to create a route of minimal resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof. When they’re in good shape, your rain gutters will route runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaking water, and the gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to repair to be the reason for major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s a strong indication that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you notice a gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s a project you should hire a gutter specialist to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the rain runoff away from your house the way they are supposed to. Standing water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. And, it will make the areas around your house perpetually soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or on the sides of your house. Mold and mildew indicate that there is excessive moisture around that area – a potential problem with the rain gutters could be to blame. Remember that mold and mildew are more likely to grow on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it might be because that area gets very little direct sunlight on it. This is a situation when the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Smyrna would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s actually raining to discover this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It might just be that the gutter is full of debris and needs to be cleaned out. Either way, you need to have it checked ASAP.
Depending on the construction of your basement, the leaking might be due to any number of things. The pooling problem we discussed before could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be designed to work with this water flow to help it submerge into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This standing rain water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You usually see water marks right beneath the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that water is pouring down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is by far the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. Following a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to assess any damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some simple ways Smyrna Gutter Service recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time each year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the less issues you’ll experience with them.
The optimal time to clean out gutters is during the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are professional gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to handle the work or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the issues we wrote about above.
We’d recommend that you do 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 a problem 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 and quickly.
However, if you let the issue go on for too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.