Rain Gutters are very important because – although they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home components, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help prevent your home from damages.
And it’s really a lot easier than you might think.
Finding a leak in your gutters early can protect an entire house. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without calling a roofer) to determine if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a lot of signs that indicate leaking gutters, even if you don’t physically see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the safety of your lawn to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it causes stress on the connections. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roof might not be causing a leak just yet, but will ultimately lead to problems. Having these defects fixed is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If rain is pooling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water around your house can be especially damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your gutter indicates 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 become loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as refastening them, but it can also be necessary to cover the hole so no water can leak from the edge of 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 apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially when it is constantly or frequently present. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other materials stick to the wet surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after you see water stains. water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters fixed, but if gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe 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 porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you could have a gutter leak.
These are all signs 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 need to be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is typically an easy fix. It’s probably not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Tracy gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can quickly build a nest in your rain gutters or downspout, which will also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start seeing some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be small now, a sapling will sprout really strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs indicate there are issues with your rain gutter that must be addressed right away. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Tracy can be of great help. They can determine whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do basic gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are willing to take on the chore 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, any job beyond gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like Tracy Gutter Service. Then let us do an inspection to correctly determine the problem. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time to install new gutters, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!