Gutters are so important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to prevent your home from major damages.
And it’s really a lot simpler than you might think.
Identifying a gutter leak early can protect your entire home. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few signs that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roof specialist) to see if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are a lot of signs that point to leaking gutters, even if you don’t actually see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the roof, it causes stress on the fasteners. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the home might not be causing a leak yet, but these things will certainly lead to problems. Getting these defects repaired is more affordable than installing new gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If water is pooling around your home, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your house, just in case.
Pooling water by your house can be really damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the more noticeable signs of a leaking gutter 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 tiny leaks will occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters likely means a leak is going to start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits starts to become a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as tightening them, but it might also be necessary to cover the hole so no 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 put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves behind evidence, especially when it is constantly or frequently present. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other organic materials adhere to the moist surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the product of constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters can be fixed, but if the gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a 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 or walkways, decaying wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you may have a gutter leak.
These are all signs 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 every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a gutter leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This one is a pretty simple fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that needs to be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Bossier City gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can build a nest in your rain gutters or in your downspout, which can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, you will start seeing some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be small 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 must be addressed immediately. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a gutter service in Bossier City can be of great help. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do simple gutter care, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are ready to take on the project 1-2 times a year to save some money.
However, any job beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like Bossier City Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to correctly determine the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time to install new gutters, you can count on us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!