Gutters are very important because – while they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home investments, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help protect your house from damages.
And it’s much simpler than you might think.
Spotting a gutter leak early can protect the entire home. Here, we’ve listed a few signs that you can be on the lookout for (without calling a roofer) to see if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are many signs that point to a gutter leak, even if you don’t actually see water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the ground to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the roof, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be caused by poor installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roof might not be causing a leak yet, but these things will ultimately lead to issues. Getting these defects repaired is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the possible damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If rain is pooling around your home, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water by your house can be really bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t overflowing, there is an unseen leak. These tiny leaks can occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak will start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as tightening them, but it may also be necessary to cover the hole so no more water can leak from around the screw or nail, even after it is back in place. You can purchase this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves behind evidence, especially when it is constantly or frequently present. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic debris stick to the moist 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 can be cleaned away and the gutters can be fixed, but if the gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re starting to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, decaying wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your window sills, you may have a gutter leak.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t be. They also go hand in hand with aging building materials, so all factors need to be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty easy fix. It’s probably not a gutter leak, but a clog that needs to be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Passaic gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or another pest can quickly build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start to see some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs mean there are issues with your gutter that must be addressed immediately. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a cause for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Passaic can be helpful. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do simple gutter care, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time-consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are ready to complete the chore 1-2 times each year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond gutter cleaning should be left to professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Passaic Gutter Pros. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately diagnose the issue. We offer free inspections for potential customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can count on us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!