Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home components, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to prevent your house from damages.
And it’s really a lot simpler than you might think.
Spotting a leak in your gutters early can protect an entire home. Below, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are many signs that point to a leaking gutter, even if you don’t physically see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the home, it causes stress on the fasteners. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roofing may not cause a leak yet, but these things will definitely cause problems. Getting these defects fixed is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If water is puddling around your home, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your home, just in case.
Pooling water near your house can be really bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak. These small leaks can occur 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 gutters means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits in starts to become a new area where water can escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as tightening them, but it may also be necessary to cover the hole so no water can escape from around 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 – Water leaves behind evidence, especially if it is consistently or frequently there. Dark water stains will appear because dirt and other organic materials stick to the wet surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the product of constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters can be fixed, but if your gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re starting to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you may have a gutter leak.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also are related to older building materials, so all of these factors need to be taken into account 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 may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is typically an easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Memphis gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your rain gutters or in your downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start seeing some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or puddling – 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 sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs mean there are issues with your gutter that must be addressed right away. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Memphis can be of great help. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do simple gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it it can be time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are willing to take on the chore 1-2 times a year to save some money.
However, any job beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like Memphis Gutters & More!. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately determine the issue. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are 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. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!