If you’re like a lot of homeowners, your rain gutters are not something you really worry about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until rain gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you understand just how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most roofs in Indianapolis. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … building materials that are designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to provide a path of least resistance for rain to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they are in good shape, your rain gutters will route runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaking water, and the gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to fix to be the cause of major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a strong indication that your gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you find a possible gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you’d rather hire a gutter company to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the water runoff away from your home the way they should be. Standing water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, it will make the areas surrounding your home constantly wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or the exterior of your home. Mold and mildew indicate there is too much moisture around that area – a possible problem with the rain gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mildew and mold are more likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it might just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a time where the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Indianapolis would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll need to wait until it’s actually raining to notice this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that you have gutter damage. It might just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned. Either way, you need to have it checked ASAP.
Depending on the construction of your home’s basement, your leak could be caused by any number of things. The pooling problem we discussed before could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls can only block out so much water. That’s why it is so necessary to keep your gutters in good condition!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it isn’t supposed to. This pooling rain water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually find water marks right beneath the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a usually an indication that water is running down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is by far the simplest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. After a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to identify any possible damage to the roof, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy ways Indy Gutters, Inc. recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once a year. You can lengthen the amount of time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. Like with anything else, the better you maintain your gutters, the fewer issues you’ll experience with them.
The optimal time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners clean their gutters themselves, but there are local gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to handle the mess or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the issues we wrote about above.
We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection following each season to confirm that your gutters are working correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing a problem before it becomes too bad can save you time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can be replaced very affordably and quickly.
However, if you let the problem go on for too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.