Rain Gutters are really important because – while they are simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home investments, like the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to protect your house from major damages.
And it’s a lot simpler than you probably think.
Finding a leak in your gutters early can protect your entire house. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roof specialist) to see if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are many signs that indicate a gutter leak, even if you don’t actually see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the safety of your lawn to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here are some things to look for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the house, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roofing might not be causing a leak just yet, but will ultimately result in problems. Having these defects repaired is more affordable than replacing gutters or any of the damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If rain is pooling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is close to your home, just in case.
Pooling water by your home can be especially bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of a gutter leak 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 tiny leaks will occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as tightening them, but it might also be necessary to seal the hole so no more water can leak from around the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves behind evidence, especially if it is consistently or frequently present. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other organic debris adhere to the moist surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after you see water stains. water stains can be cleaned and the gutters fixed, but if your gutters are rusty, they definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re starting to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you may have leaking gutters.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also are related to aging building materials, so all of these factors should be taken into account 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 might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is usually an easy fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Cleveland gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start seeing 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 rain gutter with little debris present. While it may be small now, a sapling will sprout strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs indicate there are issues with your rain gutter that must be addressed immediately. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is where a gutter service in Cleveland can be helpful. They can determine if gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do basic gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are willing to complete the chore 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, any job beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Clean Cleveland Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately diagnose the issue. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are any gutter repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time for gutter replacement, 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!