Rain Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect more 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 might think.
Identifying a leaking gutter early can protect an entire home. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a lot of warning signs that point to leaking gutters, even if you don’t actually see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the lawn to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to look for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the house may not cause a leak just yet, but these things will certainly lead to issues. Having these defects fixed is more affordable than gutter replacement or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If rain is puddling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your house, just to be sure.
Pooling water around your home can be very harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most obvious signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your rain gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak. These tiny leaks can happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters means a leak is going to start soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as tightening them, but it can also be important to cover the hole so no more water can escape from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves behind evidence, especially if it is constantly or frequently present. Dark water stains will appear because dirt and other materials adhere to the wet surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after water stains. water stains can be cleaned and the gutters can be fixed, 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 notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you could have leaking gutters.
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 need to be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a leak may 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 yourself or hire a Atlanta gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which can also 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 it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little 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 indicate there are problems with your rain gutter that have to be addressed right away. By checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is when a gutter service in Atlanta can be of great help. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do basic gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are ready to take on the project a couple of times each year to save some money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like ATL Gutters, Inc.. Then let us do a full inspection to correctly diagnose the issue. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are any gutter repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time for gutter replacement, 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!