If you’re like most people, your rain gutters are not something you often think about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but besides that, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most homes in Charlotte. They blend into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner preferred copper or wood … building materials that are designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to provide a path of minimal resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof quickly. When they’re in good condition, your gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the foundation and basement from leaking water, and the gutters themselves from 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 reason for major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is simple and safe. If you see any of the following signs, it’s a good indication that your gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you notice a gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s a project you’d rather trust a gutter service for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the rain runoff away from your home the way they should be. Pooling water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas surrounding your home consistently soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or the sides of your home. Mold and mildew mean there is excessive moisture around that area – a potential problem with the rain gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mold and mildew are likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are appearing, it may just be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a scenario when the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Charlotte would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll have to wait until it’s raining to discover this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean you have gutter damage. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and should be cleaned. In either case, you need to have it looked at right away.
Based on the construction of your basement, the leaking could be due to any number of things. The standing water issue we discussed earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls will only keep out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in good condition!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters empty directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this flow of water to help it disperse into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This pooling rain water can destroy plants either by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually find water marks right under the rain gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a usually an indication that rain water is streaming down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is the easiest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. After a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your home to identify any damage to the roof, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of easy ways Charlotte Gutter Solutions recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once each year. You can extend the time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out regularly. As with anything else, the better you maintain your gutters, the fewer issues you’ll have with them.
The best time to clean out gutters is during the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners choose to clean their gutters themselves, but there are local gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the mess or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. A quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the signs we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection after each season to confirm that your gutters are working properly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing a problem before it becomes too bad can save you a lot of time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can easily 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 expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.