Rain Gutters are important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home components, like the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to protect your house from damages.
And it’s really much simpler than you probably think.
Spotting a leak in your gutters early can protect your entire house. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without calling a roof specialist) to see if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a lot of warning signs that suggest a leaking gutter, even if you don’t actually notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the safety of your lawn 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 home, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roof might not be causing a leak just yet, but these things will ultimately create problems. Getting these defects repaired is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If rain is pooling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water near your home can be especially bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the more noticeable signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your rain gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is an unseen leak. These small leaks will occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws working their way out of the gutters means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as tightening them, but it might also be important to cover the hole so no water can escape from around the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves evidence behind, especially if it is consistently or frequently present. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other debris stick 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. water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters fixed, but if your gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on your roof, but you’re beginning to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you might have a gutter leak.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t be. They also are related to aging building materials, so all of these factors should be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to home repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a gutter leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This one is usually an easy fix. It’s probably not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this or hire a Richmond gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which will also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start seeing some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be small now, a sapling will sprout strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs indicate there are issues with your rain gutter that have to be addressed immediately. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Richmond can be of great help. They can determine if gutter replacement is necessary 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.
Some homeowners decide to do simple gutter care, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it it can be time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are willing to complete the chore a couple of times each year to save some money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like WeClean Richmond Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately diagnose the problem. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time to install new gutters, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!