Rain Gutters are so important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to protect your home from major damages.
And it’s much easier than you might think.
Finding a gutter leak early can protect the entire home. Below, we’ve listed a few signs that you can be on the lookout for (without calling a roof specialist) to determine if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are several signs that indicate leaking gutters, even if you don’t actually see water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the safety of your lawn to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it causes stress on the fasteners. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roofing might not be causing a leak yet, but these things will definitely cause issues. Having these defects fixed is a lot more affordable than replacing gutters or any of the damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If rain is puddling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your house, just in case.
Pooling water around your home can be especially bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the more noticeable signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These small leaks will happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters means a leak will start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as refastening them, but it might also be important to cover the hole so no more water can leak from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. 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 consistently or frequently present. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic materials stick to the wet surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters can be repaired, but if your gutters are rusty, they definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to see 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 might have leaking gutters.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also are related to aging 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 home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty simple fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this or hire a Peabody gutter cleaning service – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, 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 take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be small now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs mean there are issues with your rain gutter that need to be addressed immediately. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Peabody can be of great help. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do basic gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it it can be time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are ready to take on the chore 1-2 times each year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Prime Gutters, Inc.. Then let us do an inspection to accurately diagnose the problem. We offer free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time to install new gutters, you can count on us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!