If you are like a lot of homeowners, your rain gutters aren’t something you really worry about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize just how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most roofs in Peabody. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner has opted for copper or wood … building materials that are designed to stand out! Most are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to provide a route of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof. When they are in good shape, your rain gutters will lead runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaks, and the gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When they are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to fix to be the cause of any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is easy and safe. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s a pretty good indication that your gutters have some kind of damage.
As soon as you identify a gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you should call a gutter specialist to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling water near your home is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the water runoff away from your house the way they are designed to. Standing water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas surrounding your home perpetually soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or the sides of your house. Mold and mildew indicate there is a lot of moisture in that area – a possible problem with the gutters could be the cause. Keep in mind that mold and mildew are more likely to appear on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where they’re growing, it might be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight on it. This is a situation where the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Peabody would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll have to wait until it’s actually raining to look for this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned out. Either way, you need to have it looked at ASAP.
Based on the construction of your home’s basement, the leaking might be due to any number of things. The pooling issue we mentioned earlier could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this water flow 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 standing rain water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It will 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 pooling water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You usually see water marks beneath the rain gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that rain water is running down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your house to assess any possible damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of simple tips Prime Gutters, Inc. recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once each year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out regularly. As with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the fewer problems you’ll have with them.
The recommended time to clean gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners choose to clean their gutters on their own, but there are professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to handle the work or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the problems we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection following each season to be sure that your gutters are working the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing a problem before it becomes too bad can save you time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can be replaced very affordably and quickly.
But, if you let the problem go on too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.