If you’re like a lot of homeowners, your rain gutters are not something you often worry about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is very simple.
It’s not until your gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you understand how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most roofs in Edison. They fade into the exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … materials that are definitely designed to stand out! Most are crafted from durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of gutters is to create a path of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof quickly. When they are in good condition, your gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaks, and the rain gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters 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 fix to be the reason for any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a pretty strong indication that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you find a gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you feel comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you should hire a gutter specialist for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water near your home is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the water 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 pesky mosquitoes. And, it will make the areas surrounding your house consistently soggy 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 exterior of your home. Mold and mildew mean there is excessive moisture in that area – a possible problem with the rain gutters could be the cause. Keep in mind that mold and mildew are more likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where they’re growing, it may just be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight on it. This is a scenario when the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Edison would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will have to wait until it’s raining to look for this type of gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean you have gutter damage. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and needs to be cleaned out. Either way, you need to have it looked at ASAP.
Based on the design of your basement, the leaking might be due to any number of things. The pooling problem we mentioned before could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is necessary to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters pour 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. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This standing water can destroy plants either by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You will usually find water marks right beneath the gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that water is running 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 spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to identify any possible damage to the roof shingles, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy ways EZ Edison Gutters recommends to 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 less problems you’ll have with them.
The optimal time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners clean their gutters themselves, but there are professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to handle the mess or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of 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 signs we mentioned above.
We’d recommend that you complete an exterior home inspection following each season to ensure that your gutters are functioning correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of an issue 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 be replaced very affordably.
But, if you let the problem go on too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.