Gutters are very important because – while they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home components, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help prevent your house from major damages.
And it’s really a lot easier than you probably think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect your entire home. Here, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a lot of signs that indicate leaking gutters, 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 there.
Here are some things to look for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the house, it causes stress on the fasteners. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the home may not be causing a leak just yet, but these things will certainly result in issues. Getting these defects repaired is more affordable than replacing gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If water is pooling around your house, it’s a possible 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 sure.
Pooling water near your house can be especially bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the more noticeable signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your rain gutter is likely 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. These minor leaks will occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak will 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 might also be necessary to seal the hole so no more water can leak from the edge of the screw or nail, even after it is back in place. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves behind evidence, especially when it is consistently or frequently there. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other debris adhere to the wet surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after you see water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters can be fixed, 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 beginning to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you may have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t be. They also are related to aging building materials, so all factors should be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty simple fix. It’s probably not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this or hire an East Orange gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your rain gutters or downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there a while, you will start to see 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 gutter with little debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout really 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 gutter that need to be addressed right away. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is where a gutter service in East Orange 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.
Homeowners can choose to do simple gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time-consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are ready to complete the project a couple of times a year to save some money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like EO Gutters, Inc.. Then let us do a full inspection to correctly diagnose the issue. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time to install new gutters, you can count on us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!