If you are like most homeowners, your rain gutters are not something you often worry about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but besides that, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you realize just how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most homes in Passaic. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … materials that are designed to stand out! Most 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 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 leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from wear and 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 repair to be the cause of any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you notice any of the following issues, it’s a pretty strong clue that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you notice a possible gutter problem, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you’d rather trust a gutter specialist to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the rain runoff away from your home the way they should be. Pooling water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas around your home constantly wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or the sides of your home. Mold and mildew indicate there is a lot of moisture around that area – a possible issue with the rain gutters could be the cause. Remember that mold and mildew are likely to grow on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are appearing, it might just be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a scenario where the advice and knowledge of a professional in Passaic would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s actually raining to notice this type of gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It might just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned. Either way, you want to have it checked ASAP.
Based on the design of your home’s basement, your leak could be caused by any number of things. The pooling problem we mentioned earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls will only keep out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in good shape!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters empty directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be designed to work with this flow of water to help it disperse into the ground. But, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This standing rain water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually find water marks under the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that water is pouring down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is the simplest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they definitely have damage. Following a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to assess any damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of easy tips Passaic Gutter Pros recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time each year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out regularly. Like with anything else, the better you care for your rain gutters, the fewer issues you’ll experience with them.
The recommended time to clean gutters is during the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners choose to clean their gutters on their own, but there are professional 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. A quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the signs we discussed above.
We’d recommend that you do an exterior home inspection following each season to confirm that your gutters are functioning correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of a problem before it becomes too bad can save you a lot of 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.
However, if you let the issue go on too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.