Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home investments, like the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help protect your house from major damages.
And it’s a lot simpler than you might think.
Finding a leak in your gutters early can protect an entire home. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a lot of warning signs that suggest a gutter leak, even if you don’t notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the ground to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the house, it stresses the fasteners. Cracks can be the result of poor installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the house might not be causing a leak yet, but will definitely lead to problems. Getting these defects fixed is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If water is puddling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your home, just in case.
Pooling water near your home can be especially bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the more noticeable signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several of them.
A drip from your gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak. These minor leaks will occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws working 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 escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as tightening them, but it might also be important 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 purchase 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. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic debris adhere to the moist surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters can be fixed, but if the gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re starting to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your window sills, you could have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t be. They also are related to older building materials, so all of these factors need to be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to major repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is typically an easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Charlotte gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, you will start to see 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 small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs mean there are problems with your rain gutter that need to be addressed immediately. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Charlotte can be of great help. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do basic gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and dangerous, they are eager to take on the chore a couple of times each year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like Charlotte Gutter Solutions. Then let us do an inspection to accurately diagnose the issue. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are any gutter repairs to be made, or if we feel that it’s time for gutter replacement, 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!