If you are like many homeowners, your gutters aren’t something you often think about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is very simple.
It’s not until rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most homes in East Orange. They blend into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner preferred copper or wood … building materials that are meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to create a route of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof. When they are in good shape, your rain gutters will direct runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaks, and the rain gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to fix to be the cause of any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you see any of the following issues, it’s a strong indication that your gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you find a possible gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable fixing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you should hire a gutter company for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water near your home 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 leave the areas around your home perpetually wet 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 exterior of your house. Mold and mildew mean that there is a lot of moisture around that area – a possible problem with the rain gutters could be to blame. Remember that mildew and mold are likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it may be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a time where the advice and expertise of a professional in East Orange would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s actually raining to find this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean you have gutter damage. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and needs to be cleaned. Either way, you need to have it checked ASAP.
Based on the construction of your home’s basement, the leaking could be caused by any number of things. The standing water issue we discussed earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in good condition!
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 water flow to help it disperse into the ground. However, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This rain water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You usually find water marks right under the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a usually a sign that water is pouring down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is by far the simplest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. Following a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to identify any possible damage to the roof, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to any standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of easy ways EO Gutters, Inc. recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once a year. You can lengthen the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out regularly. Like with anything else, the better you maintain your gutters, the less problems you’ll experience with them.
The recommended time to clean gutters is during the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners choose to clean their gutters themselves, but there are many local gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to handle the mess or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. A fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the problems we wrote about above.
We’d recommend that you do an exterior home inspection following each season to be sure that your gutters are functioning properly.
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 be replaced very affordably and quickly.
But, if you let the problem go on too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.