Gutters are really important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to protect your home from damages.
And it’s really much easier than you might think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect your entire home. Here, we’ve listed a few signs that you can look for (without hiring a roofer) to see if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are many warning signs that point to a gutter leak, even if you don’t see water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the lawn to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here are some things to look for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be caused by poor installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the house may not cause a leak just yet, but these things will definitely cause issues. Having these defects fixed is much more affordable than replacing gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If water is puddling around your home, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably 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 around your house can be damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the more noticeable signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your rain gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These tiny leaks will happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can escape if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as refastening them, but it may also be important to cover the hole so no water can leak from around the screw or the nail, even after it is back in place. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves behind evidence, especially if it is constantly or frequently there. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other organic materials adhere to the moist surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after water stains. water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters repaired, but if your gutters are rusty, they definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your porch or deck, or mold on your window sills, you might have a gutter leak.
These are all signs 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 should be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to home repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is typically an easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Huntersville gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there while, you will start to see some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your rain gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be small now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs mean there are problems with your gutter that have to be addressed right away. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Huntersville can be of great help. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do simple gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time-consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are ready to take on the project a couple of times a year to save some money.
However, any job beyond basic gutter cleaning should be left to professionals.
Start by calling a gutter service with good customer reviews like High Point Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to accurately determine the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we feel 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!