7 Signs of Gutter Damage on Your Home
If you’re like a lot of people, your rain gutters are not something you often worry about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is very simple.
It’s not until gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most roofs in Southfield. They fade into the exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … materials that are definitely designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to create a path of least resistance for rain to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they are in good shape, your gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaks, and the gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When they 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 simple and safe. If you see any of the following signs, it’s a pretty good clue that your gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you find a gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you’d rather trust a gutter company for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water near your home is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the water runoff away from your home the way they are supposed to. Pooling water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas surrounding your home consistently soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or on the sides of your house. Mold and mildew mean that there is excessive moisture in that area – a possible issue with the rain gutters could be the cause. Keep in mind that mold and mildew are more likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are appearing, it may just be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight on it. This is a scenario when the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Southfield would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s actually raining to look for this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean you have gutter damage. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned out. Either way, you need to have it looked at right away.
Based on the construction of your basement, your leak could be due to any number of things. The standing water issue we mentioned before could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so necessary to keep your gutters in good condition!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters pour directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be designed to work with this water flow to help it disperse into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This standing water can destroy plants either by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed building materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are the first sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually find water marks under the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that rain 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 find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your house to assess any damage to the roof, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to any routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of simple tips Southfield Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time each year. You can extend the time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. Like with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the fewer problems you’ll experience with them.
The recommended time to clean gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are local gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to handle the work or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the problems we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection after each season to be sure that your gutters are functioning correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing 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.
But, if you let the issue go on too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.