If you’re like many people, your gutters aren’t something you really think about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand just how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most homes in Huntersville. They fade into the exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … building materials that are definitely meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of gutters is to provide a route of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they’re in good shape, your rain gutters will route runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the foundation and basement from leaks, and the rain gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When they are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to repair to be the cause of any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is easy and safe. If you see any of the following issues, it’s a good clue that your gutters have some kind of damage.
As soon as you identify a gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying on your own or if it’s a project 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 lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas around your home perpetually soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or the exterior of your house. Mold and mildew indicate that there is a lot of moisture in that area – a potential problem with the rain gutters could be the cause. Remember that mildew and mold are likely to grow 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 scenario where the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Huntersville would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s raining to notice this type of gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that you have gutter damage. It might just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned out. In either case, you want to have it looked at right away.
Based on the design of your home’s basement, your leak could be caused by any number of things. The standing water problem we discussed earlier could definitely result in a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so necessary to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be designed to work with this flow of water to help it disperse into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This standing rain water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually see water marks under the rain gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a usually a sign that rain water is streaming down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is the simplest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your house to assess any damage to the roof, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some simple ways Huntersville Gutters & Exteriors recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once a year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the fewer problems you’ll experience with them.
The recommended time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners choose to clean their gutters on their own, but there are local gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to handle the work or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. A fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the issues we wrote about above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection after each season to be sure that your gutters are working 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 problem go on for too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.