If you are like most people, your gutters are not something you often think about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most roofs in Bossier City. They fade into the exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … building materials that are designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose 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 gutters will lead runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaks, and the rain gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to repair to be the reason for any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is simple and safe. If you see any of the following signs, it’s a strong indication that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
Once you notice a possible gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you feel comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s a project you should trust a gutter service for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling water near your home is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the rain runoff away from your house the way they are supposed to. Standing water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas around your home perpetually soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or on the exterior of your home. Mold and mildew indicate that there is excessive moisture in that area – a potential issue with the gutters could be to blame. Remember that mold and mildew are likely to grow on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where they’re appearing, it may be because that area gets very little direct sunlight on it. This is a time when the advice and expertise of a professional in Bossier City would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s actually raining to notice this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean you have gutter damage. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned. In either case, you want to have it checked ASAP.
Depending on the design of your home’s basement, your leak might be caused by any number of things. The pooling issue we discussed before could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls can only block out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in good shape!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this water flow to help it disperse into the ground. However, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it isn’t supposed to. This pooling water can destroy plants either by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You usually find water marks right under the gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that water is pouring down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is the simplest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they have damage. Following a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your home to identify any damage to the roof shingles, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy ways Bossier City Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least once a year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out regularly. Like with anything else, the better you care for your rain gutters, the fewer problems you’ll experience with them.
The best time to clean gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are many professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the mess or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. A fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the signs we discussed above.
We’d suggest that you complete 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 an issue 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.
But, if you let the problem go on for too long, you might end up making repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.