If you are like most homeowners, your rain gutters aren’t something you often worry about. They need biannual 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 realize how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most roofs in Toms River. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … building materials that are meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of gutters is to provide a path of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof quickly. When they’re in good shape, your rain gutters will lead runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaks, 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 easy to repair to be the cause of major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is easy and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a pretty strong indication that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
As soon as you identify a gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable fixing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you’d rather trust a gutter company for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the rain runoff away from your home the way they should be. Pooling water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas surrounding your home perpetually soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or the exterior of your home. Mold and mildew indicate that there is a lot of moisture around that area – a possible issue with the rain gutters could be to blame. Remember that mildew and mold are more likely to appear on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where these substances are appearing, it might be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a time when the advice and expertise of a professional in Toms River would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll have to wait until it’s actually raining to find this type of gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that you have gutter damage. It might just be that the gutter is full of debris and should be cleaned. In either case, you want to have it looked at right away.
Depending on the design of your home’s basement, the leaking might be due to any number of things. The pooling problem we mentioned before could definitely result in a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters pour directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this flow of water to help it disperse into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This standing water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually see water marks under the rain gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a usually a sign that water is streaming 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 find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they have damage. After a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to assess any damage to the roof, outer walls, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a few easy tips TruClean Toms River Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least once a year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. Like with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the fewer problems you’ll experience with them.
The optimal time to clean gutters is during the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are professional gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to deal with the mess 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 – should reveal any of the issues we discussed above.
We’d recommend that you do an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to be sure that your gutters are working the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of an issue before it becomes too bad can save you 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 needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.