Gutters are important because – while they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help prevent your home from major damages.
And it’s really much easier than you might think.
Spotting a leaking gutter early can protect your entire house. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roofer) to see if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are many warning signs that indicate a leaking gutter, even if you don’t notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the lawn to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the roof, it causes stress on the connectors. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roofing may not cause a leak yet, but these things will ultimately lead to problems. Having these defects fixed is much more affordable than installing new gutters or any of the possible damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If water is puddling around your house, it’s a possible 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 by your house can be very bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the more noticeable signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several of them.
A drip from your rain gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t a big overflow, there is a hidden leak. These tiny leaks will happen if a fastener has become 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 starts to become 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 could also be necessary to cover the hole so no more water can leak from around the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially when it is consistently or frequently present. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other debris adhere to the moist surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after you see water stains. water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters can be fixed, but if gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re starting 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 may have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also go hand in hand with aging building materials, so all of these factors should be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty easy fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Boulder gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your rain 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 a leak in a gutter – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be small now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs mean there are problems with your gutter that must be addressed right away. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Boulder can be of great help. They can determine whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the lifetime of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do simple gutter care, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it is time consuming and dangerous, they are eager to complete the chore a couple of times a year to save some money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter service with good customer reviews like Boulder Gutters, Inc.. Then let us do an inspection to accurately determine the problem. We provide 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 can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!