Rain Gutters are very important because – although they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning gutters is an easy way to protect your house from damages.
And it’s really a lot easier than you might think.
Spotting a gutter leak early can protect the entire house. Below, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without hiring a roofer) to see if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a lot of warning signs that indicate leaking gutters, even if you don’t notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the safety of your lawn to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here’s what to look for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the home, it stresses the fasteners. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roofing might not be causing a leak yet, but these things will definitely create problems. Getting these defects repaired is a lot more affordable than gutter replacement or any of the potential damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If rain is pooling around your home, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your house, just in case.
Pooling water around your house can be very bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most obvious signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your rain gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t a big overflow, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These minor leaks will occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits in starts to become a new area where water can escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as refastening them, but it may also be necessary to seal the hole so no water can leak from the edge of the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially if it is constantly or frequently present. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other debris adhere to the wet surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the result of nearly 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 repaired, but if gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on your roof, but you’re starting to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your porch or deck, or mold on your window sills, you might have a gutter leak.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also are related to older building materials, so all of these factors should be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is typically an easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Southfield gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can quickly build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which will 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 the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your rain gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be little now, a sapling will sprout strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs mean there are issues with your rain gutter that must be addressed right away. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a cause for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Southfield can be of great help. They can determine whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do simple gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and dangerous, they are willing to take on the chore 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, any job beyond basic gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Southfield Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to accurately determine the issue. We provide 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!