Rain Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help protect your house from damages.
And it’s really much easier than you probably think.
Spotting a gutter leak early can protect an entire house. Here, 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 Leaking Gutters
There are many signs that suggest a gutter leak, even if you don’t physically see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the roof, it causes stress on the connections. Cracks can be caused by poor installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the home might not cause a leak yet, but will certainly result in problems. Getting these defects repaired is affordable than installing new gutters or any of the possible damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If rain is pooling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your house, just to be careful.
Pooling water near your house can be especially harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom 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 below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits starts to become a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as tightening them, but it may also be important to seal the hole so no water can escape from around 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 apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially if it is constantly or frequently there. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other organic debris stick to the wet surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after you see water stains. Most water stains can be cleaned and the gutters fixed, but if your gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or 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 notice 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 leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also go hand in hand with older building materials, so all factors should be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty simple fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Sayreville gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your rain gutters or in your downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start to see 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 gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be small now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs indicate there are issues with your gutter that need to be addressed right away. By checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Sayreville can be of great help. They can determine whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do basic gutter care, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time-consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are eager to complete the chore 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, anything beyond gutter cleaning should be left to professionals.
Start by finding a gutter service with good customer reviews like Sayreville Gutter Service. Then let us do an inspection to accurately diagnose the issue. We offer free inspections for potential customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time for gutter replacement, 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!