Gutters are really important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home investments, such as the roof, foundation, and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to protect your home from major damages.
And it’s much simpler than you might think.
Finding a gutter leak early can protect an entire house. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a number of warning signs that indicate a gutter leak, even if you don’t notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to look for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the home, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the house might not be causing a leak yet, but these things will certainly cause problems. Having these defects repaired is affordable than installing new gutters or any of the possible damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If rain is puddling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is close to your house, just to be sure.
Pooling water by your house can be really harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most obvious signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom 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 – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits in starts to become a new area where water can get out if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as refastening them, but it may also be important to seal the hole so no water can escape from around the screw or the nail, even after it is back in place. You can buy this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves evidence behind, especially if it is constantly or frequently there. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other organic debris adhere to the wet surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters can be fixed, but if gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re starting to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, decaying wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you might have a gutter leak.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also go hand in hand with older building materials, so all of these factors should be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the issue.
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 an Edison gutter cleaning service – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk, or another pest can build a nest in your rain gutters or downspout, which will cause overflow. Once the nest has been there a while, you will start to see some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be small now, a sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs mean there are problems with your gutter that have to be addressed immediately. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Edison can be helpful. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do simple gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it it can be time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are eager to take on the chore 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like EZ Edison Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to correctly diagnose the problem. 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. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!