Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home components, like the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help protect your home from damages.
And it’s much easier than you might think.
Finding a leak in your gutters early can protect an entire home. Here, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roofer) to see if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a lot of warning signs that indicate a gutter leak, even if you don’t physically see water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the lawn to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it stresses the connectors. 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 roof might not cause a leak just yet, but will definitely result in issues. Getting these defects repaired is much more affordable than replacing gutters or any of the damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If rain is pooling around your home, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is 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 home can be very damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most obvious signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several of them.
A drip from your gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t a big overflow, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These small leaks will happen 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 likely means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits starts to become a new area where water can get out if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as refastening them, but it might also be important to cover the hole so no more water can leak from the edge of the screw or 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 – Water leaves behind evidence, especially if it is constantly or frequently there. Dark water stains will appear because dirt and other organic materials adhere to the moist surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the product of constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after water stains. Most water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters can be repaired, but if the gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you may have a gutter leak.
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 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 gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty simple fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Charleston gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pests can quickly build a nest in your rain gutters or downspout, which can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there a while, you will start seeing 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 minimal debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs mean there are issues with your gutter that have to be addressed immediately. By checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Charleston can be of great help. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do basic gutter care, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are ready to take on the project 1-2 times a year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like Charleston Gutter Solutions. Then let us do an inspection to correctly determine the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!