Gutters are really important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help protect your house from damages.
And it’s really a lot simpler than you probably think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect the entire house. Here, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without calling a roof specialist) to see if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are a number of warning signs that point to a leaking gutter, even if you don’t physically notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the safety of your ground to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here’s what to look for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roof might not cause a leak yet, but these things will definitely lead to issues. Getting these defects fixed is more affordable than gutter replacement or any of the possible damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If water is pooling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your home, just to be careful.
Pooling water by your house can be damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the more noticeable signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several of them.
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 minor leaks will occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws working their way out of the gutters likely means a leak is going to start soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can escape if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as refastening them, but it might also be necessary to cover the hole so no water can escape from the edge of the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially if it is consistently or frequently there. Darker 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 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 gutters are rusty, they definitely have to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on your roof, but you’re beginning to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your window sills, you might have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also go hand in hand with aging building materials, so all of these factors should be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to major repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that needs to be removed. You can do this or hire a Lawton gutter cleaning service – 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 can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little 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 easily take root in your gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs mean there are issues with your gutter that must be addressed immediately. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is when a gutter service in Lawton can be helpful. They can determine if gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do simple gutter care, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it can be time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are willing to complete the chore a couple of times a year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like LikeNew Lawton Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to accurately diagnose the issue. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time to install new gutters, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!