Rain Gutters are so important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home components, like the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help prevent your home from major damages.
And it’s a lot easier than you might think.
Finding a leak in your gutters early can protect an entire house. Below, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without calling a roofer) to determine if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are a lot of warning signs that indicate leaking gutters, even if you don’t actually notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the lawn to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here are some things to look for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the house, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the home might not be causing a leak just yet, but these things will certainly lead to problems. Getting these defects fixed is more affordable than installing new gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If water is pooling 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 close to your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water around your house can be harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of a gutter leak 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 a big overflow, there is an unseen leak. These small leaks will happen 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 rain gutters means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits starts to become a new area where water can escape if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as tightening them, but it might also be necessary to cover the hole so no 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 apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves behind evidence, especially when it is consistently or frequently there. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other debris stick to the wet surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after water stains. Most water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters repaired, but if the gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a 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 around the downspouts or walkways, decaying 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 somewhere it shouldn’t be. They also are related to aging building materials, so all factors should be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This one is typically an easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this or hire a Sacramento gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which will cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, 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 the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be small 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 mean there are issues with your rain gutter that have to be addressed immediately. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Sacramento can be of great help. They can determine whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do basic gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it is time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are eager to complete the project 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, anything beyond gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Sacramento Gutter Service. Then let us do an inspection to correctly diagnose the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!