Gutters are important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home components, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help protect your house from major damages.
And it’s a lot easier than you probably think.
Finding a leak in your gutters early can protect your entire house. In this blog post, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if your gutters may be leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a number of signs that suggest a leaking gutter, even if you don’t see water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the safety of your ground to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the house, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the home might not cause a leak just yet, but will certainly cause problems. Having these defects fixed is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If rain is pooling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your house, just in case.
Pooling water near your house can be really damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most obvious signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your rain gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak. These small leaks can happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working their way out of the gutters means a leak will 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 works its way out.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as tightening them, but it could also be necessary to cover the hole so no more water can escape 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 put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves behind evidence, especially if it is consistently or frequently there. Dark water stains will appear because dirt and other materials adhere to the moist surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after water stains. water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters can be repaired, but if gutters are rusty, they definitely have to be repaired or 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 beginning to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your patio 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 be. 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 home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is typically 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 Indianapolis gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can quickly 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 it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your rain gutter with little debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs mean there are issues with your gutter that need to be addressed right away. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a cause for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Indianapolis can be of great help. They can determine if gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do simple gutter care, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are ready to complete the project a couple of times each year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter service with good customer reviews like Indy Gutters, Inc.. Then let us do an inspection to correctly determine the issue. We provide free inspections for new customers.
If there are repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time to install new gutters, you can count on us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!