Gutters are important because – although they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to protect your home from major damages.
And it’s really much simpler than you probably think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect the entire house. Below, we’ve listed a few signs that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roofer) to see if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are many warning signs that suggest a gutter leak, even if you don’t actually notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the safety of your lawn to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here’s what to look for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the house, it stresses the fasteners. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, low quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the home might not be causing a leak yet, but these things will definitely lead to issues. Getting these defects fixed is more affordable than replacing gutters or any of the possible damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If water is pooling around your home, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your house, just to be careful.
Pooling water near your home can be very damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most obvious signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several of them.
A drip 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 minor leaks will happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Finding 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 starts to become a new area where water can escape if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as refastening them, but it can also be important to seal the hole so no more water can leak from around the screw or 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 evidence behind, especially when it is consistently or frequently present. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic debris stick to the moist surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after you see water stains. Most water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters can be fixed, but if gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a 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 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 be. They also go hand in hand with older building materials, so all of these factors need to be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to home repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is typically an easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Baltimore gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly 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 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 take root in your rain gutter with minimal 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 problems with your gutter that have to be addressed right away. By quickly checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Baltimore can be helpful. They can determine if gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do simple gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are eager to complete the chore 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Better Baltimore Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately diagnose the problem. We offer free inspections for potential customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!