If you’re like most homeowners, your rain gutters are not something you really worry about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is very simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most roofs in Sacramento. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … materials that are meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to create a route of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they are in good shape, your gutters will route runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to repair to be the cause of major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a good indication that your gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you find a possible gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you’d rather trust a gutter specialist for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the water runoff away from your house the way they should be. Standing water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas surrounding your home consistently wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or the sides of your home. Mold and mildew indicate that there is excessive moisture in that area – a possible problem with the gutters could be the cause. Keep in mind that mold and mildew are likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it might just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a situation where the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Sacramento would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s raining to notice this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned. Either way, you need to have it checked right away.
Based on the design of your home’s basement, your leak might be caused by any number of things. The standing water issue we discussed before could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls can only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so necessary to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be designed to work with this water flow to help it disperse into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it shouldn’t. This pooling rain water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually see water marks right under the rain gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that water is pouring down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is by far the simplest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. After a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to assess any possible damage to the roof, outer walls, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to any routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a few easy ways Sacramento Gutter Service recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time each year. You can lengthen the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out regularly. Like with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the fewer issues you’ll have with them.
The recommended time to clean gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are local gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the work or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. A fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the signs we discussed above.
We’d recommend that you complete an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to ensure that your gutters are functioning the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing an issue before it becomes too bad can save you time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can be replaced very affordably.
However, if you let the issue go on too long, you might end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.