Rain Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help prevent your house from major damages.
And it’s a lot simpler than you might think.
Identifying a leaking gutter early can protect the entire home. Here, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without calling a roofer) to see if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are many warning signs that suggest a gutter leak, even if you don’t physically see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the home, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the house may not cause a leak yet, but these things will certainly lead to issues. Getting these defects repaired is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the possible damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If rain is pooling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your home, just to be careful.
Pooling water around your home can be especially damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most obvious signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your rain gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is an unseen leak somewhere. These minor leaks will occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters likely means a leak will start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits in starts to become a new area where water can get out if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as refastening them, but it can also be important to cover the hole so no more water can leak from around the screw or 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 – Water leaves evidence behind, especially if it is constantly or frequently present. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other debris adhere to the wet surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the result of constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters repaired, but if your 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 starting to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, decaying wood on your porch 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. They also go hand in hand with older building materials, so all factors need to be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to major repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is a pretty simple fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this or hire a Terre Haute gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can quickly build a nest in your rain gutters or in your downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, you will start seeing some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your gutter with little debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs indicate there are issues with your rain gutter that must be addressed right away. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Terre Haute can be of great help. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all 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 somewhat dangerous, they are ready to complete the project 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, any job beyond gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Total Gutters, Inc.. Then let us do an inspection to accurately diagnose the problem. We provide free inspections for new customers.
If there are any gutter repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time to install new gutters, you can trust us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!